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U>U*ia.tfi3X-.J  w.^ 







[^viUtt  Cop».] 





The  circumstance  of  an  English  arni}^  penetrating 
into  Central  Asia,  through  countries  which  had  not 
been  traversed  by  European  troops  since  Alexander 
the  Great  led  his  victorious  army  from  the  Helles- 
pont to  the  Jaxartes  and  Indus,  is  so  strong  a  feature 
in  our  military  history,  that  I  have  determined,  at  the 
suggestion  of  my  friends,  to  print  those  letters  re- 
ceived from  my  son  which  detail  any  of  the  events 
of  the  campaign.  As  he  was  actively  engaged 
with  the  Bombay  division,  his  narrative  may  be  re- 
lied upon  so  far  as  he  had  an  opportunity  of  witness- 
ing its  operations  ;  and  it  being  my  intention  to  have 
only  a  few  copies  printed,  to  give  to  those  friends 
who  may  take  an  interest  in  his  letters,  I  need  not 
apologize  for  the  familiar  manner  in  which  they  are 
written,  as  they  were  intended  by  him  only  for  his 


own  family,  without  an  idea  of  their  being  printed. 
A  history,  however,  may  be  collected  from  them  most 
honom-able  to  the  British  soldiers,  both  Europeans 
and  natives  of  India.  They  shew  the  patience  with 
which,  for  more  than  twelve  months,  the  soldiers  bore 
all  their  deprivations  and  fatiguing  marches  through 
countries  until  then  unknown  to  them,  whether  moving 
through  arid  sands  or  rocky  passes,  under  a  burning 
sun  ;  or  over  desolate  mountains,  amidst  the  most  se- 
vere frosts,  with  scarcely  an  interval  of  repose.  Nei- 
ther was  their  gallantry  less  conspicuous  than  their 
patience,  when  they  had  the  good  fortune  to  find  an 
enemy  who  ventured  to  face  them.  Although  the 
circumstances  which  his  letters  detail  might  well  de- 
serve a  better  historian  than  my  son,  yet  are  they  of 
that  high  and  honourable  character,  that  they  cannot 
lose  any  part  of  their  value  by  his  familiar  manner  of 
narrating  them. 

When  I  decided  upon  printing  these  letters,  it  be- 
came a  matter  of  interest  to  place  before  the  reader  a 
short  account  of  the  countries  in  which  the  operations 
of  the  army  were  conducted,  as  well  as  of  the  native 
rulers  who  took  part  in,  or  were  the  cause  of  them  ;  in 
order  that  the  letters  might  be  more  clearly  under- 
stood by  those  friends  who  have  not  felt  sufficiently 
interested  in  the  history  of  those  countries  to  make 


any  inquiries  about  them.  But,  before  I  do  so,  I 
shall  draw  the  attention  of  the  reader  to  the  army  of 
Alexander,  to  which  I  have  before  alluded. 

Without  entering  into  the  causes  which  led  to  his 
extraordinary  conquests,  predicted  by  Daniel  as  the 
means  ordained  of  God  to  overthrow  the  Persian  em- 
pire, then  under  the  government  of  Darius,  certain  it 
is  that  he  conquered  the  whole  of  those  countries 
which  extend  from  the  Hellespont  to  the  Indus,  when 
his  career  was  arrested  by  his  own  soldiers.  Having 
overrun  Syria,  Egypt,  Media,  and  Parthia,  keeping 
his  course  to  the  north-east,  he  not  only  passed  the 
Oxus,  and  forced  his  way  to  the  Jaxartes,  but,  pressed 
by  the  Scythians  from  its  opposite  shore,  he  crossed 
that  river,  and  beat  them  in  a  decisive  battle.  From 
the  Jaxartes  he  returned  in  a  southern  direction  to- 
wards the  Indus,  and  having  suffered  the  greatest 
privations,  and  struggled  with  the  most  alarming  dif- 
ficulties during  the  time  that  he  was  engaged  in  the 
conquest  of  those  mountainous  districts,  he  at  length 
reached  Cabool,  making  himself  master  of  Afghan- 
istan. Here  he  appears  to  have  halted  for  a  consider- 
able time,  to  refresh  and  re-equip  his  army,  which, 
with  the  addition  of  30,000  recruits,  amounted  to 
120,000  men. 

At  this  place,  Alexander  first  came  upon  the  scene 


of  the  campaign  referred  to  in  the  following  letters. 
Here  he  meditated  the  invasion  of  India,  intending  to 
march  to  the  mouth  of  the  Ganges ;  but  the  conquest 
of  that  country  was  destined  for  a  nation  almost  un- 
known in  the  days  of  Alexander,  and  lying  far  more 
remote  from  it  than  Greece  ;  and,  until  the  campaign 
of  1839  drew  our  armies  to  the  western  side  of  the 
Indus,  the  Sutlej  was  alike  the  boundary  of  Alex- 
ander's conquests  to  the  east,  as  of  those  of  England 
towards  the  west. 

Alexander  having  prepared  his  army  for  this  ex- 
pedition, moved  towards  the  Indus,  taking  many 
strong  places  on  his  march.  Having  crossed  that 
river,  the  king  of  the  country  offered  no  resistance, 
but  became  the  ally  of  Alexander,  who  expected  to  have 
found  Porus,  whose  kingdom  was  on  the  other  side  of 
the  Hydaspes,  equally  ready  to  submit.  But  it  re- 
quired the  utmost  skill  of  Alexander  to  cross  the 
river,  which  he  effected,  and  conquered  Porus,  after  a 
most  severe  struggle,  with  the  loss  of  his  renowned 
charger,  Bucephalus,  and  he  was  so  pleased  at  the 
magnanimity  of  Porus  that  he  not  only  gave  him  back 
his  kingdom,  but  added  several  small  states  to  it, 
making  him  a  sincere  ally.  Alexander  then  continued 
his  march  towards  the  east,  conquering  all  who  op- 
posed him,  until  he  reached  the  banks  of  the  Hy- 


phasis  (Sutlej),  which  he  was  about  to  cross,  when 
his  progress  was  arrested  by  murmurs  and  tumults  in 
his  camp.  His  soldiers  declared  their  determination 
not  to  extend  his  conquests,  and  entreated  him  to  re- 
turn. He  then  marched  back  to  the  Acesines,  gave  the 
whole  country  as  far  as  the  Hyphasis  to  Porus,  and  thus 
made  him  ruler  of  the  Punjab.  Alexander  encamped 
near  the  Acesines  until  the  month  of  October,  when 
the  fleet  which  he  built,  consisting  of  800  galleys  and 
boats,  being  ready,  he  embarked  his  army  and  pro- 
ceeded towards  the  Indus ;  but  before  he  reached  that 
river  he  came  to  two  countries  possessed  by  warriors 
who  united  their  armies  to  oppose  his  progress. 
After  beating  them  in  many  engagements,  Alexander 
attacked  the  city  of  the  Oxydracse,  into  which  the 
greater  part  of  those  armies  had  retired.  Here  his 
rash  valour  had  nearly  terminated  his  career :  he  was 
severely  wounded  in  the  side  by  an  arrow,  from  the 
effects  of  which  he  was  with  difficulty  restored  to 
health.  He  then  descended  the  river,  a  portion  of 
his  army  marching  on  its  banks,  conquering  every 
nation  that  opposed  him.  About  the  month  of  July 
he  reached  Patala  (Tatta),  where  he  built  a  citadel  and 
formed  a  port  for  his  shipping.  He  then  proceeded, 
with  part  of  his  fleet,  by  the  western  branch  of  the  river, 
to   discover   the   ocean.     This    he   accomplished   at 

A  3 


great  hazard,  when  he  sacrificed  to  the  gods  (particu- 
larly to  Neptune),  and  besought  them  not  to  suffer 
any  mortal  after  him  to  exceed  the  bounds  of  his  ex- 
pedition. He  then  returned  to  join  the  rest  of  his 
fleet  and  army  at  Patala,  and  to  make  arrange- 
ments for  his  march  to  Babylon.  He  appointed 
Nearchus  admiral  of  his  fleet,  and  having  given  him 
orders  to  ascend  the  Persian  Gulf  to  the  Euphrates, 
he  commenced  his  march  through  Beloochistan, 
leaving  Nearchus  to  follow  him  as  soon  as  the  season 
would  permit.  Alexander  was  more  than  sixty  days 
in  reaching  the  frontiers  of  Persia,  during  which 
time  his  army  suffered  such  dreadful  privations  from 
want  of  food,  that  the  soldiers  were  obliged  to  eat 
their  own  war-horses,  and  from  the  sickness  conse- 
quent upon  such  a  state  of  distress,  his  army  was  re- 
duced to  less  than  one-half  of  the  number  which  left 
Patala.  It  is  not  necessary  to  follow  him  to  Babylon, 
or  to  describe  the  voyage  of  Nearchus,  who,  having 
sailed  up  the  Persian  Gulf,  united  his  forces  to  those 
of  his  royal  master  in  the  river  Pasi-Tigris,  near 
Susa.  Enough,  however,  may  be  learned  fi*om  this 
history  to  convince  us  that  if  such  an  army  could  be 
conducted  2000  years  ago  from  the  Hellespont  to 
the  Jaxartes  and  Indus,  the  march  from  the  southern 
shores  of  the  Caspian  Sea  to  Cabool  would  require 


comparatively  but  very  slight  exertion,  if  those  who 
have  the  means  should  have  the  desire  also  to  accom- 
plish it. 

I  can  say  little  of  my  own  knowledge  of  the  poli- 
tical causes  which  gave  rise  to  the  war,  as  I  am  unac- 
quainted with  the  affairs  of  India  and  the  motives 
which  actuated  its  governors;  but  a  brief  outline 
may  be  collected  from  a  book  lately  pubHshed  by  the 
Hon.  Capt.  Osborne,  military  secretary  to  the  Go- 
vernor-General, to  which  I  shall  refer,  after  making 
some  observations  upon  the  countries  through  which 
the  operations  of  the  army  were  conducted,  and  par- 
ticularly on  the  situation  of  Afghanistan,  in  reference 
to  those  persons  who  had  before  been,  as  well  as  those 
who  were,  its  rulers,  when  Shah  Shooja  was  restored 
by  the  British  Government  to  its  throne.  These  obser- 
vations I  have  chiefly  collected  from  the  valuable 
work  of  that  enterprising  officer  Lieut.  Burnes,  which 
he  published  after  visiting  those  countries  in  1831, 
1832,  and  1833. 

The  chief  portion  of  the  Bombay  division  of  the 
army  engaged  in  the  operations  to  which  these  letters 
refer,  landed  at  the  Hujamree  mouth  of  the  Indus, 
and  marching  through  Lower  Sinde,  by  Tatta,  as- 
cended the  Indus  by  its  western  bank.  On  arriving 
in  Upper  Sinde,  it  was  found  that  Shah  Shooja  with 


his  contingent,  as  well  as  the  Bengal  division  of  the 
army,  had  crossed  the  Indus  en  route  from  that  Pre- 
sidency, and  had  advanced  towards  Afghanistan, 
and  that  the  Bombay  division  was  to  follow  them. 
To  effect  this,  the  division  marched  through  Cutch 
Gundava,  and  the  Bolan  Pass,  which  is  situated  in 
the  mountains  which  divide  the  province  of  Sara- 
war,  in  Beloochistan,  as  well  as  Cutch  Gundava,  from 
Afghanistan.  Having  made  their  way  through  the 
Bolan  Pass,  the  army  entered  the  Shawl  district  of 
Afghanistan,  and  thence  proceeded  through  the 
Ghwozhe  Pass  to  Candahar,  Ghuzni,  and  Cabool ; 
at  which  last-mentioned  place  Shah  Shooja's  eldest 
son  joined  his  father  with  some  troops  of  Runjet 
Sing's,  which  had  crossed  the  Indus  from  the  Punjab, 
marching  by  Peshawur  and  the  Kyber  Pass.  The 
division  of  the  Bombay  troops  under  General  Will- 
shire,  having  remained  at  Cabool  about  a  month,  re- 
turned to  Ghuzni,  and  thence  in  a  straight  direction 
to  Quettah,  leaving  Candahar  some  distance  on  the 
right ;  Capt.  Outram,Vho  commanded  a  body  of  native 
horse,  preceding  the  main  body  of  the  division  for  the 
purpose  of  capturing  the  forts,  or  castles,  belonging 
to  those  chiefs  who  had  not  submitted  to  Shah  Shooja. 
From  Quettah,  General  Willshire  moved  with  a  part 
of  his  division  upon  Kelat,  and  thence  through  the 


Gundava  Pass  and  Cutch  Gundava  to  the  Indus, 
where  these  troops  were  met  by  the  rest  of  the  divi- 
sion, which  came  from  Quettah  by  the  Bolan  Pass. 
Hence  they  descended  to  Curachee  to  embark  for  their 
respective  quarters  in  India.  The  fate  of  one  of  the 
regiments  of  the  division,  the  17th,  as  it  is  recorded  in  a 
Bombay  paper,  is  most  distressing.  They  embarked  at 
Curachee  for  Bombay,  and  sailed  in  the  morning  with  a 
fair  wind  and  a  fine  breeze,  but  before  the  night 
closed  in  upon  them  the  ship  was  fast  aground  upon 
a  sandbank,  off  the  Hujamree  branch  of  the  Indus, 
scarcely  within  sight  of  land.  Everything  was  thrown 
overboard  to  lighten  the  ship,  but  in  vain  ;  she  be- 
came a  total  wreck,  and  settled  down  to  her  main 
deck  in  the  water.  She  fortunately,  however,  held 
together  long  enough  to  allow  all  the  men  to  be  taken 
on  shore,  which  occupied  three  days,  but  with  the 
loss  of  everything  they  had  taken  on  board  with  them. 
The  other  regiments,  we  may  hope,  have  been  more 
fortunate,  as  they  were  not  mentioned  in  the  paper 
which  gave  this  melancholy  account  of  the  17th  regi- 

Sinde,  the  country  through  which  the  army  first 
passed,  is  divided  into  three  districts,  each  governed 
by  an  Ameer,  the  chief  of  whom  resides  at  Hydrabad, 
the  second  at  Khyrpoor,  and  the  other  at  Meerpoor ; 


and  when  Lieut.  Burnes  ascended  the  Indus,  in  1831, 
the  reigning  Ameers  were  branches  of  the  Beloochistan 
tribe  of  Talpoor.  With  these  the  chief  of  Kelat  and 
Gundava,  Mehrab  Khan  (who  was  related  by  marriage 
to  the  Ameer  of  Hydrabad),  was  more  closely  allied 
than  any  other  prince  :  like  them,  he  had  been  for- 
merly tributary  to  Cabool,  and  had  shaken  off  the 
yoke  ;  and,  possessing  a  very  strong  country  between 
Afghanistan  and  Sinde,  he  became  as  usefiil  as  he  had 
at  all  times  proved  himself  a  faithful  ally  to  the  Sin- 
deans.  Shikarpoor,  with  the  fertile  country  around 
it,  as  well  as  Bukker,  had  formerly  belonged  to  the 
Barukzye  family  of  Afghanistan,  and,  although  they 
still  possessed  Candahar,  Cabool,  and  Peshawur,  they 
had  in  vain  endeavoured  to  withdraw  Mehrab  Khan 
from  his  alliance  with  the  Sindeans,  or  to  recover  those 
lost  possessions. 

To  understand  the  political  state  of  Afghanistan, 
into  which  the  army  marched  for  the  purpose  of  re- 
storing Shah  Shooja  to  its  throne,  it  will  be  necessary 
to  go  back  to  the  early  part  of  the  last  century,  when 
Nadir  Shah  had  raised  himself  to  the  throne  of  Persia. 
His  name  having  become  formidable  as  a  conqueror, 
he  turned  his  thoughts  to  the  conquest  of  India,  and, 
assuming  sufficient  pretexts  for  breaking  the  relations 
of  amity  which  he  professed  for  the  monarch  of  that 


country,  he  determined  to  invade  it,  and  for  that  pur- 
pose began  his  march  in  1738.  Taking  with  him 
some  of  the  chiefs  of  Afghanistan,  he  crossed  the 
Punjab  and  entered  Delhi.  He  there  raised  enormous 
contributions,  and  seized  upon  everything  worth  taking 
away ;  amongst  other  things  the  far-famed  Peacock 
throne,  in  which  was  the  renowned  diamond  called 
"  The  Mountain  of  Light."  The  spoils  with  which 
he  returned  to  Persia  were  valued  at  nearly  seventy 
millions  of  pounds  sterling.  It  is  not  necessary  to 
follow  the  history  of  Nadir ;  it  will  be  enough  to  say 
that,  amidst  the  confusion  which  followed  his  death, 
Ahmed  Khan  obtained  possession  of  part  of  his  trea- 
sure, amongst  which  was  the  great  diamond.  He  es- 
caped with  it  into  Khorassan,  where  he  made  himself 
master  also  of  a  large  sum  of  money  which  was  coming 
to  Nadir  from  India.  Ahmed  was  a  brave  and  intel- 
ligent man,  had  been  an  officer  of  rank  under  the 
Shah,  and,  being  in  possession  of  the  treasure  neces- 
sary for  his  purpose,  he  proclaimed  himself  king,  and 
was  crowned  at  Candahar  "  King  of  the  Afghans." 
Ahmed  was  of  the  Suddoozye  family,  which  were  but 
a  small  tribe  ;  but  he  was  greatly  assisted  by  the  power- 
ful Barukzye  family,  whose  friendship  he  justly  valued 
and  made  use  of  to  his  advantage  :  of  this  latter  family 
Hajee  Jamel  was  then  the  chief.     Ahmed  knew  how 


to  conciliate  the  independent  spirit  of  his  Afghan  sub- 
jects, and  by  making  frequent  incursions  on  his  neigh- 
bours, kept  ahve  that  spirit  of  enterprise  which  was 
congenial  to  their  feelings ;  but  from  the  time  of  his 
death  the  royal  authority  began  to  decline,  as  Timour, 
his  son  and  successor,  had  neither  the  sense  nor  en- 
terprise necessary  to  uphold  it.  Affairs  became  still 
worse  under  the  sons  of  Timour.  Shah  Zumaun 
was  of  a  cruel  disposition,  and  wanted  the  education 
necessary  to  the  situation  he  was  called  upon  to  fill ; 
his  brothers,  Mahmood  and  Shah  Shooja,  were  not 
belter  disposed;  and  towards  the  Barukzye  family, 
who  had  been  so  instrumental  in  placing  their  grand- 
father, Ahmed,  on  the  throne,  they  conducted  them- 
selves not  only  most  imprudently,  but  with  dreadful 

Shah  Zumaun  was  succeeded  by  Shah  Shooja,  of 
whom,  although  the  chief  person  in  the  present  drama, 
little  more  need  be  said  of  this  part  of  his  history  than 
that,  ignorant  of  the  mode  of  governing  such  inde- 
pendent tribes  as  the  Afghans,  his  power  was  never 
great,  and,  after  the  fall  of  his  vizier,  and  the  murder 
of  his  comrade,  Meer  Waeez,  it  gradually  declined, 
until  he  lost  his  throne  at  Neemla,  in  1809.  He  had 
taken  the  field  with  a  well-appointed  army  of  15,000 
men;  but  was  attacked  by  Futteh  Khan,  an  experi- 


enced  general,  at  the  head  of  2000  men,  before  the 
royal  army  was  formed  for  battle  ;  Akram  Khan,  his 
vizier,  was  slain,  and  he  fled  to  the  Kyber  country, 
leaving  the  greater  part  of  his  treasure  in  the  hands  of 
his  conquerors.  Shah  Shooja  had  failed  to  conciliate 
the  Barukzye  family ;  Futteh  Khan,  their  chief,  had 
therefore  espoused  the  cause  of  the  king's  brother,  Mah- 
mood,  and  having  driven  Shah  Shooja  from  his  throne, 
he  placed  Mahmood  upon  it,  and  accepted  for  himself 
the  situation  of  vizier.  Under  his  vigorous  administra- 
tion, the  whole  of  the  Afghan  country,  with  the  excep- 
tion of  Cashmere,  submitted  to  the  dominion  of  the  new 
sovereign.  The  Shah  of  Persia,  anxious  to  possess 
himself  of  Herat,  sent  an  army  against  it,  but  was  de- 
feated in  his  object,  andPIerat  was  preserved  to  Mah- 
mood by  the  successful  exertions  of  Futteh  Khan. 
No  sooner,  however,  was  Mahmood  thus  firmly  esta- 
blished in  his  dominions,  than  his  son  Kamran  be- 
came jealous  of  the  man  who  had  raised  him  to  the 
situation,  and  had  secured  to  him  the  kingdom ;  he 
therefore  determined  to  effect  the  ruin  of  the  vizier. 
The  prince  was  not  long  in  gaining  over  his  father  to 
his  views  ;  and  Futteh  Khan  being  at  Herat,  Kamran 
seized  on  his  person  and  put  out  his  eyes.  In  this 
state  he  kept  him  prisoner  for  about  six  months,  dur- 
ing which  time  the  brothers  of  the  vizier,  imtated  at 


the  conduct  of  Kamran,  began  to  show  signs  of  disaf- 
fection. Mahmood  ordered  Futteh  Khan  to  be  brought 
before  him  in  the  court  of  his  palace,  and  accusing 
the  brothers  of  the  vizier  of  rebeUion,  directed  him  to 
bring  them  back  to  a  state  of  allegiance.  The  vizier, 
in  the  dreadful  condition  to  which  he  had  been  re- 
duced, replied  to  the  demand  of  Mahmood,  '^  What 
can  an  old  and  blind  man  do  ?"  when,  by  the  order 
of  the  king,  the  courtiers  cut  the  vizier  to  pieces,  limb 
after  limb :  his  nose  and  ears  were  hacked  off;  neither 
did  he  receive  his  death  blow  until  not  a  member  of 
his  person  was  left  upon  which  they  could  inflict  tor- 
ture. With  the  fall  of  his  vizier  the  king's  power 
rapidly  declined,  and  he  fled  to  Herat,  virtually  yield- 
ing up  the  rest  of  his  kingdom.  He  died  in  1829,  his 
son,  Kamran,  succeeding  to  the  limited  government 
of  that  portion  only  of  his  former  dominions.  Upon 
the  flight  of  Mahmood  to  Herat,  the  horrid  murder  of 
their  brother  threw  the  whole  of  the  Barukzye  family 
into  open  revolt,  the  eldest  of  whom,  Azeem  Khan,  re- 
called Shah  Shooja  from  his  exile.  From  the  time 
Shah  Shooja  lost  his  throne,  he  had  been  first  a  cap- 
tive in  the  hands  of  the  son  of  his  former  vizier,  and 
then  a  pensioner  on  the  bounty  of  the  Maharajah,  at 
Lahore,  who  in  return  extorted  from  him  the  famous 
diamond,  '^  The  Mountain  of  Light,"  and  other  jewels, 


which  he  had  brought  away  with  him  when  he  fled 
at  Neemla.  He  then  made  his  escape  from  the  Maha- 
rajah, and  found  protection  and  support  from  the  Bri- 
tish government  of  India.  Upon  the  summons  from 
Azeem  Khan,  Shah  Shooja  immediately  hastened  to 
Peshawur ;  where,  before  his  benefactor  had  time  to 
meet  him,  he  practically  displayed  his  ideas  of  royalty 
so  unwisely,  and  so  insulted  some  of  the  friends  of  the 
Barukzye  family,  that  the  whole  party  took  offence, 
and  they  at  once  rejected  him,  and  placed  his  brother 
Eyoob  on  the  throne. 

Eyoob  was  but  a  puppet  king,  the  tool  of  the  family 
who  raised  him  to  the  government ;  Azeem  Khan,  who 
was  appointed  his  vizier,  being  in  truth  the  ruler.  Se- 
veral of  the  young  princes  who  aspired  to  the  throne 
were  delivered  over  to  Eyoob,  who  put  them  to  death. 

Shooja,  driven  from  Peshawur,  retired  to  Shikarpoor, 
which  the  Ameers  of  Sinde  ceded  to  him ;  where,  in 
place  of  conducting  himself  with  prudence,  he  was  so 
addicted  to  low  intrigue  with  those  about  him,  that 
his  enemies  availed  themselves  of  this  propensity  to 
effect  his  ruin,  and  drove  him  from  Shikarpoor,  when, 
crossing  the  Indus,  he  fled  through  the  desert  by 
Juydalmeer,  and  returned  to  Loodiana.  "  The  fitness," 
says  Lieut.  Burnes,  "  of  Shah  Shooja-ool-Moolk  for 
the  station  of  a  sovereign  seems  ever  to  have  been 


doubtful.  His  manners  and  address  are  highly 
polished,  but  his  judgment  does  not  rise  above  medio- 
crity ;  had  the  case  been  otherwise,  we  should  not 
now  see  him  an  exile  from  his  country  and  his  throne, 
without  a  hope  of  regaining  them,  after  an  absence  of 
twenty  years,  and  before  he  has  attained  the  fiftieth 
year  of  his  age," 

The  civil  wars  which  had  thus  so  frequently  oc- 
curred in  Afghanistan  weakened  the  resources  of  the 
country  and  its  means  of  defence.  Runjet  Sing 
availed  himself  of  the  advantage  which  this  state  of 
affairs  presented  to  him,  and  obtained  possession  of 
Cashmere ;  when,  continuing  his  conquests,  he  crossed 
the  Indus,  and  made  himself  master  of  Peshawur, 
burning  its  palace,  and  laying  the  country  under  tri- 
bute. Azeem  Khan  made  a  precipitate  retreat  before 
the  army  of  the  Sikhs  towards  Cabool,  without  attempt- 
ing to  arrest  their  progress,  and  was  so  stung  with  re- 
morse at  the  weakness  of  his  conduct  that  he  died  on 
reaching  that  city.  With  the  death  of  Azeem  the  royal 
authority  was  extinguished.  The  king  fled  to  Lahore, 
and  lived  under  the  protection  of  his  conqueror. 
Herat  alone  remained  in  the  possession  of  one  of  the 
Suddoozye  family.  The  brothers  of  the  late  vizier 
seized  his  son,  and  deprived  him  of  his  treasure  and 
Ms  power.     The  kingdom  was  then  divided  between 


them.  Cabool  fell  into  the  hands  of  Dost  Mahomed ; 
Peshawur  and  Candahar  were  held  by  two  of  his 
brothers ;  the  Sindeans  threw  oiF  their  yoke,  and  re- 
fused to  pay  tribute ;  Balk  was  annexed  to  the  domi- 
nions of  the  King  of  Bokhara  ;  the  richest  portion  of 
the  provinces  having  fallen  into  the  possession  of  the 
Sikhs.  In  seventy-six  years  from  the  time  that  Ahmed 
Shah  was  crowned  at  Candahar,  the  Dooranee  mo- 
narchy again  ceased  to  exist. 

As  I  have  given  the  character  of  Shah  Shooja,  it 
will  be  interesting  to  quote  that  of  Dost  Mahomed, 
from  the  same  author.  "  He  is  unremitting  in  his  at- 
tention to  business,  and  attends  daily  at  the  court- 
house, with  the  Cazee  and  Moollahs,  to  decide  every 
cause  according  to  law.  Trade  has  received  the 
greatest  encouragement  from  him,  and  he  has  derived 
his  own  reward,  since  the  receipts  of  the  custom- 
house of  the  city  have  increased  fifty  thousand  rupees, 
and  furnished  him  with  a  net  revenue  of  two  lacs  of 
rupees  per  annum.  The  merchant  may  travel  with- 
out a  guard  or  protection  from  one  frontier  to  another, 
an  unheard-of  circumstance  in  the  time  of  the  kings. 
The  justice  of  this  chief  aifords  a  constant  theme  of 
praise  to  all  classes.  The  peasant  rejoices  at  the  ab- 
sence of  tyranny,  the  citizen  at  the  safety  of  his 
home,  the  merchant  at  the  equity  of  his  decisions  and 


the  protection  of  his  property,  and  the  soldier  at  the 
regular  manner  in  which  his  arrears  are  discharged." 
"  One  is  struck  with  the  intelligence,  knowledge,  and 
curiosity  which  he  displays,  as  well  as  at  his  accom- 
plished manners  and  address." 

To  this  short  sketch  of  Afghanistan,  and  of  the  per- 
sons connected  with  its  political  history,  I  will  add 
some  extracts  from  the  work  of  the  Hon.  Capt.  Os- 
borne, because  they  explain  the  circumstances  which 
led  to  the  campaign  of  the  Indus,  and  to  the  restora- 
tion of  Shah  Shooja  to  the  throne  of  Cabool.  He 
says,  "  In  May,  1838,  a  complimentary  deputation 
was  sent  by  Runjet  Sing  to  the  Governor-General  at 
Simla,  consisting  of  some  of  the  most  distinguished 
Sikh  chiefs,  who  were  received  with  all  the  honours 
prescribed  by  oriental  etiquette.  Shortly  afterwards. 
Lord  Auckland  resolved  to  send  a  mission  to  the 
court  of  Lahore,  not  merely  to  reciprocate  the  com- 
pliments of  the  Maharajah,  but  to  treat  upon  all  the 
important  interests  which  were  involved  in  the  exist- 
ing state  of  political  affairs  in  that  quarter  of  the 
world.  The  recent  attempts  of  the  Persians  on  Herat, 
the  ambiguous  conduct  of  Dost  Mahomed,  and  the 
suspicions  which  had  been  excited  with  respect  to  the 
proceedings  and  ulterior  designs  of  Russia,  rendered 
it  of  the  greatest  importance  to  cement  the  alUance 


with  Runjet  Sing,  and  engage  him  to  a  firm  and 
effective  co-operation  with  us  in  the  estabhshment  of 
general  tranquiUity,  the  resistance  of  foreign  encroach- 
ment, and  the  extension  of  the  benefits  of  commerce 
and  the  blessings  of  civilization.  Accordingly,  W.  H. 
Macnaghten,  Esq.,  was  deputed  on  the  mission  to  the 
Maharajah,  accompanied  by  Dr.  Drummond,  Capt. 
Macgregor,  and  the  Hon.  W.  Osborne,  military  secre- 
tary to  the  Governor-General. 

"  The  object  of  the  Governor-General's  mission  to 
Lahore  having  been  accomplished,  and  the  concur- 
rence, and,  if  necessary,  the  co-operation  of  Runjet 
Sing,  in  the  restoration  of  Shah  Shooja,  secured,  Mr. 
Macnaghten  repaired  to  Loodiana,  for  the  purpose  of 
submitting  to  the  Shah  the  treaties  that  had  been  con- 
cluded, and  announcing  to  him  the  approaching 
change  in  his  fortunes.  The  envoys  seem  to  have 
been  much  struck  with  the  majestic  appearance  of  the 
old  pretender,  especially  with  the  flowing  honours  of 
a  black  beard  descending  to  his  waist,  always  the  most 
cherished  appendage  of  oriental  dignity.  He  had 
lived  for  twenty  years  in  undisturbed  seclusion,  if  not 
'  the  world  forgetting,'  certainly  '  by  the  world  forgot,' 
consoling  himself  for  the  loss  of  his  kingdom  in  a  do- 
mestic circle  of  six  hundred  wives,  but  always  '  sigh- 
ing his  soul'  towards  the  mountains  and  valleys  of 


Afghanistan,  and  patiently  awaiting  the  kismet,  or 
fate,  which  was  to  restore  him  to  his  throne.  The 
preparations  thenceforward  went  rapidly  on.  The 
contingent  raised  by  the  Shah  was  united  (more  for 
form  than  use)  to  the  British  force,  and  in  three 
months  the  expedition  began  its  operations." 

But  before  I  conclude  this  introduction  to  the  letters, 
which  detail  the  results  of  these  treaties  with  the  Ma- 
harajah, and  the  march  of  Shah  Shooja  to  Cabool,  as 
I  have  spoken  of  the  leading  characters  of  Afghanistan, 
I  may  be  permitted  to  say  a  few  words  about  the 
persons  through  whose  exertions  the  Shah  has  been 
restored  to  the  throne  of  that  country — the  officers  of 
the  British  army ;  and  I  do  so  the  more  anxiously, 
because  the  naval  and  military  glory  of  our  country, 
which  in  my  early  days  was  the  theme  of  every  song, 
is  now  seldom  heard  of  in  society,  and  those  gallant 
services  appear  to  be  nearly  forgotten,  which  during  a 
long  protracted  state  of  warfare,  within  our  own  recol- 
lection, placed  England  in  a  position  to  dictate  her 
own  terms  of  peace  to  the  world : — a  state  of  society 
which  encourages  a  certain  class  of  persons  the  more 
effectually  to  abuse  the  military  profession,  and  to 
mislead  their  deluded  followers,  by  clamouring  about 
the  expense  of  the  army,  and  the  aristocratic  bearing 
of  its  members,  that  they  may  the  more  readily  carry 


out  their  own  schemes  of  personal  vanity  and  demo- 
rahzing  poHtical  economy. 

It  is  the  pecuhar  featm'e  of  the  British  army,  to 
which  we  are  indebted  for  its  high  and  honourable 
bearing,  that  the  sons  of  the  first  families  in  the  land 
are  ever  anxious  to  bear  arms  under  its  standards, 
looking  not  to  pecuniary  emolument,  but  to  those 
honours  which  military  rank  and  professional  attain- 
ments can  procure  for  them;  whilst  the  first  com- 
mands and  the  highest  stations  in  the  service  are 
filled  without  distinction  from  every  gi'ade  in  so- 
ciety. It  is  this  happy  mixture  which  induces  that 
high  sense  of  honour,  so  peculiarly  characteristic  of 
our  service ;  that  acknowledged  distinction  between 
the  officers  and  the  privates ;  that  true  discipline 
which,  tempered  with  justice  and  kindly  feeling, 
wins  the  respect  of  the  soldier,  and  induces  him  to 
place  that  reliance  upon  his  commander  everywhere 
so  conspicuous,  whether  in  the  camp  or  field  of 
battle.  But  this  high  feeling  in  the  army  causes 
no  additional  expense  to  the  country ;  the  charge 
is  altogether  a  deception.  Let  the  following  sketch 
of  a  young  soldier's  life  of  the  present  day,  as 
applicable  to  others  as  to  himself,  answer  the  charge 
of  these  politicians. 

He  was  educated  for  the  highest  walk  of  the  legal 



profession,  and  had  nearly  prepared  himself  for  the 
university,  when  he  decided  to  change  his  course  and 
go  into  the  army.     The  Commander-in-chief  placed 
his  name  amongst  the  candidates  for  commissions,  and 
he  went  to  Hanover,  where,  after  he  had  made  him- 
self master  of  the  German  language,  his  Royal  High- 
ness the  Duke  of  Cambridge  kindly  gave  him  a  com- 
mission in  the  Yagers  of  the  Guard,  better  known  in 
England,  in  the  Peninsula,  and  at  Waterloo,  as  the 
Rifles  of  the  German  Legion.     Being  only  a  volun- 
teer in  the  regiment,  he  could  not  receive  pay  from 
the  government ;  he  was,  therefore,  at  very  consider- 
able personal  expense  to  keep  his  proper  standing 
with  his  brother  officers ;   and  as  soon  as  he  had  ac- 
quired all  the  military  knowledge  that  he  was  likely  to 
get  in  the  regiment  in  time   of  peace,  he   obtained 
leave  to  return  to  England ;  and,  as  he  had  not  any 
immediate  expectation  of  a   commission,  he  visited 
France,  to  make  himself  more  perfect  in  the  French 
language.     After  this,  he  was  allowed  to  purchase  a 
commission  in  the  2nd  regiment,  or  Queen's  Royals  ; 
and  he  embarked  to  join  that  corps  in  India.   His  let- 
ters will  shew  what  that  regiment,  in  common  with 
others,  have  endured   during   a  campaign  of  fifteen 
months  in  Central  Asia,  their  privations  and  expenses  ; 
and  when  his  second  commission  was  paid  for,  during 


that  campaign,  he  found  himself  at  its  close,  at  the 
age  of  twenty-five,  a  lieutenant  on  full  pay,  the  amount 
of  which,  if  he  was  in  England,  would  be  far  short  of 
the  interest  of  the  money  which  has  been  expended 
in  his  commissions  and  education,  and  with  fifteen 
lieutenants  still  above  him  on  the  roll  of  his  re- 

It  will  be  seen  by  his  letters,  and  it  is  confirmed  by 
the  official  despatches  of  the  Commander-in-chief,  that 
the  company  to  which  he  was  attached  (the  light 
company  of  the  Queen's)  led  the  storming  party 
at  Ghuzni.  He  was  shot  through  the  arm  and 
through  the  body,  and  left  for  dead  at  the  foot  of  the 
citadel  at  Kelat,  whilst  endeavouring  to  save  the  lives 
of  some  Beloochees  who  were  crying  for  mercy.  And 
for  these  services  he  is  to  be  rewarded  with  a  medal, 
by  Shah  Shooja,  for  Ghuzni,  and  for  the  capture  of 
both  places  he  has  the  full  enjoyment  of  the  highest 
gratification  that  a  soldier  can  feel — the  consciousness 
that  he  has  done  his  duty  to  his  country,  and,  let  me 
hope,  in  the  act  of  mercy  in  which  he  suffered,  his  duty 
to  his  God  as  a  Christian.  But  he  is  not  a  soH- 
tary  example  of  such  good  fortune.  No  one  who 
was  wounded  and  survived  may  have  been  nearer 
death  than  himself,  yet  are  there  others  who  have 
B  2 


done  more,  and  suffered  more,  as  the  history  of  the 
army  of  the  Indus  would  bear  ample  testimony. 

Let  me  then  ask,  in  behalf  of  the  British  officer, 
when  he  is  lightly  spoken  of  as  a  man,  or  when  the 
expenses  of  the  army  are  cavilled  at,  on  which  side  is 
the  debt — on  his,  or  on  that  of  his  country  ? 


JBrookhill, — Mat/,  1840. 

1^=  It  may  be  right  to  draw  the  attention  of  the  reader  to  a  cir- 
cumstance which,  at  first  sight,  may  appear  singular — that  the  same 
letters  frequently  contain  reports  quite  contradictory  to  each  other. 
It  should  therefore  be  borne  in  mind  that  such  letters  were  probably 
written  at  different  times,  as  the  writer  found  opportunity ;  who, 
being  anxious  that  his  family  should  know  all  that  passed  as  well  in 
the  camp  as  in  the  field,  preferred  leaving  each  report  in  the  way  in 
which  it  was  circulated  at  the  time  of  his  writing  it,  rather  than  cor- 
rect it  afterwards,  as  the  truth  might  turn  out.  Such  letters  shew 
the  situation  in  which  an  army  is  placed  on  its  landing  in  a  new 
country,  where  no  account  of  the  movements  of  the  inhabitants  can 
be  relied  upon,  and  the  heavy  responsibility  which  attaches  to  the 
ofiicers  who  are  entrusted  with  its  command. 



On  board  the  ship  Syden, 
Off  the  mouth  of  the  Indus,  Nov.  27th,  1838. 

My  dear  Fatheh, — We  left  Belgaum  on  the  22nd 
of  last  month,  and  arrived  at  Bombay  on  the  first  of 
this ;  and  we  started  from  Bombay  on  the  18th,  for 
this  place.  I  had  intended  to  write  from  Bombay, 
but  everything  was  in  such  a  state  of  confusion  and 
bustle  whilst  we  were  there,  that  I  literally  could  find 
no  time  or  place  for  doing  so.  We  are  now  at  anchor 
off  one  of  the  mouths  of  the  Indus,  and  have  had  a 
delightful  voyage.  Our  ship  is  a  very  nice  one,  of 
750  tons,  belonging  to  a  Swede,  who  is  an  excessively 
good  fellow,  and  has  treated  us  very  well. 

Sir  John  Keane  is  already  arrived  in  the  steamer 
Semiramis,  and  also  one  of  the  native  regiments.  Our 
Bombay  force  consists  of  5500  men,  of  which  2000 
are  Europeans — viz,,  500  of  the  Queen's,  and  500  of 


H.  M.  17  th  regiment,  one  squadron  of  the  4  th  Light 
Dragoons,  with  foot  and  horse  artillery.  The  rest  of 
the  force  is  composed  of  native  regiments,  horse  and 
foot.  We  shall  not  land,  I  think,  until  to-morrow 
evening,  as  we  are  almost  the  only  ship  that  has  yet 
arrived.  The  infantry  are  divided  into  two  brigades, 
and  the  cavalry  form  another  by  themselves.  Our 
brigade  (the  first)  consists  of  the  Queen's,  and  the  5th 
and  19th  regiments  of  Native  Infantry,  commanded  by 
our  worthy  Colonel,  now  General  Willshire,  C.B.  ; 
the  other  brigade  is  commanded  by  a  Company's 
officer.  We  have  to  go  in  boats  about  thirty  miles,  it 
is  said,  up  the  river,  before  we  finally  march.  Where 
it  is  I  am  perfectly  ignorant;  however,  some  place 
between  this  and  Hydrabad,  whence  we  shall  march 
as  far  north  as  Shikarpoor,  where  we  are  to  form  a 
junction  with  the  Bengal  troops,  13,000  in  number, 
under  Sir  H.  Fane.  What  our  destination  will  be 
after  that  I  know  not ;  whether  we  shall  advance  with 
the  Bengalees  upon  Herat,  or  form  a  corps  of  reserve 
on  the  Indus. 

The  country  between  this  and  Shikarpoor  belongs 
to  the  Ameers  of  Sinde.  They  were  very  restive  at 
first,  when  they  heard  of  our  intention  to  march 
through  their  country,  and  threatened  to  oppose  our 
progress ;  but  I  believe  they  have  since  thought  better 
of  it ;  however,  I  do  not  think  that  they  can  do  any- 
thing against  us:  time  will  soon  shew.  We  have 
been  excessively  crowded  on  board:  twenty- six  officers. 


I  have  been  obliged  to  sleep  on  the  poop  every  night, 
which,  when  the  dew  was  heavy,  was  by  no  means  plea- 
sant. I  hope  we  shall  go  further  than  Shikarpoor,  as  I 
should  like  very  much  to  see  Cabool,  Candahar,  and 
all  that  part  of  the  world,  which  so  few  Europeans 
have  visited. 

What  is  the  clause  of  all  this  bustle  and  war  I 
hardly  know  myself,  and,  at  all  events,  it  is  too  long 
to  make  the  subject  of  a  letter;  I  must  therefore 
refer  you  to  the  papers  for  it ;  but  I  have  heard  from 
old  officers  that  for  the  last  twenty  years  the  Com- 
pany have  been  anxious  to  establish  themselves  west 
and  north  of  the  Indus.  It  is  not  likely,  therefore, 
now  that  they  have  such  an  opportunity,  that  they 
will  let  it  slip,  so  that  perhaps  we  may  he  quartered 
there  for  the  next  two  or  three  years.  How  it  will 
turn  out  I  know  no  more  than  the  man  in  the  moon  : 
a  soldier  is  a  mere  machine,  and  is  moved  by  his  supe- 
riors just  as  a  chessman  by  a  chess-player.  Should 
there  be  any  skrimmaging,  our  men  are  in  high  spirits, 
and  will,  I  think,  soon  make  the  Ameers  put  their  pipes 
in  their  pockets.  Ours  is  the  first  European  army  that 
has  been  on  the  Indus  since  the  time  of  Alexander. 

I  was  obliged  to  sell  my  horses  and  other  things  on 
leaving  Belgaum,  at  a  dead  loss.  I  intend  buying 
another  horse  when  we  land  in  Sinde,  as  I  am  told 
we  can  get  good  ones  very  cheap  there.  This  is  a 
regular  case  of  here  to-day  and  there  to-morrow :  per- 
haps my  next  letter  may  be  dated  from  Cashmere — 

B  3 


who  knows  ?  I  felt  rather  sorry  at  leaving  Belgaum ; 
we  were  all  of  us  excessively  rejoiced  to  get  out  of 
Bombay.  The  report  at  first  was,  that  we  were  to 
garrison  it  for  the  next  two  or  three  years,  and  we 
were  therefore  very  glad  when  we  found  that  was  not 
to  be  the  case.  Now,  it  is  said,  there  is  a  chance  of 
our  going  into  Persia ;  but  I  do  not  think  that  we 
shall.  The  man  waits  to  lay  the  cloth  on  the  cuddy 
table,  where  I  am  writing,  so  I  must  conclude  for  the 

Nov,  28th. — The  regiment  is  beginning  to  disem- 
bark right  in  front.  The  Grenadiers  are  now  going 
into  the  boats  of  the  natives  that  are  to  take  them  up 
the  river.  Since  I  wrote  yesterday,  I  have  heard 
all  the  news  relative  to  our  disembarkation.  We 
are  to  go  fifteen  miles  up  the  river  in  native 
boats  to  a  place  called  Yicur,  where  we  form  our 
first  camp  ground.  We  are  to  remain  there  for  a 
week  or  ten  days,  in  order  to  collect  camels,  bullocks, 
&c.,  for  the  transportation  of  om'  baggage.  We  have 
to  pass  a  very  dangerous  bar  in  getting  to  this  place, 
where  several  boats  have  been  wrecked ;  but  we  have 
fine  large  ones.  From  all  accounts,  the  Ameers  are 
now  peaceably  disposed,  except  one  fellow,  who,  we 
hear,  is  inclined  to  be  rather  obstreperous  ;  but  I  think 
the  sight  of  our  force  will  soon  bring  him  to  his 
senses.  There  are,  however,  a  set  of  men  who  live  on 
the  mountain  borders  of  Sinde,  called  Beloochees, 
the  eastern  inhabitants  of  Beloochistan,    who  are  a 

LETTER    I.  d 

robber,  free-and-easy  kind  of  people,  who  may  give  us 
some  trouble,  in  endeavouring  to  walk  oflP  with  part  of 
our  baggage,  &c. 

I  intend  to  keep  a  journal  of  what  occurs,  and  will 
write  by  every  opportunity.  I  think  I  have  now  men- 
tioned everything  that  I  have  heard  relative  to  this 
grand  expedition  :  except,  by-the-bye,  that  Sir  Henry 
Fane  has  denominated  the  force  as  "  The  army  of  the 
Indus,"'  and  ours,  the  Bombay  branch  of  it,  as  "  The 
corps  d'armee  of  Sinde."  There  is  a  grand  title  for 
you  !  I  have  nothing  more  to  say  ;  and  as  I  must  be 
looking  after  my  traps  previous  to  disembarking,  I  must 
conclude  with  best  love  to  you,  and  all  at  home. 

Your  most  affectionate  son, 

T.   W.   E.   HOLDSWORTH. 

P.  S. — I  must  trust  this  to  the  captain  of  the  vessel, 
giving  him  instructions  to  put  it  into  the  Bombav 
post  when  he  returns,  so  that  it  is  equally  doubtftil 
when  you  may  receive  it.  He  is  an  excessively  o^ood 
fellow,  the  captain :  and  we  are  going  to  make  him  a 
present  of  a  silver  goblet,  worth  35/.,  for  his  attentions 
to  us  whilst  on  board  his  ship. 



Perminacote,   five  miles  from  Vicur, 
right  bank  of  the  Hujamree, 
one  of  the  branches  of  the  Indus, 

December  8th,  1838. 

My  dear  Kitty, — I  wrote  to  my  father,  about  ten 
days  ago,  from  the  ship  in  which  we  came  here, 
stating  what  I  then  knew  about  this  expedition ;  but 
having  since  received  your  letter,  and  my  father's, 
dated  Sept.  4th,  I  cannot  think  of  going  on  this  bloody 
campaign  without  first  answering  yours.  Things  look 
now  a  little  more  warlike.  The  Ameers  have  endea- 
voured to  cut  off  everything  like  a  supply  from  this  part 
of  the  country,  and  we  have  to  depend  in  a  great 
measure,  at  present,  on  the  supplies  brought  by  the 
shipping.  We  have  nothing  in  the  shape  of  convey- 
ance for  our  baggage.  We  expected  two  thousand 
camels  and  five  hundred  horses  here  for  sale  ;  but 
they  are  not  to  be  seen  at  present,  and  where  they  are, 
or  when  they  will  arrive,  no  one  knows.  News  has 
been  received,  it  is  said,  from  Pottinger,  the  Com- 
pany's political  agent  at  Hydrabad,  the  principal  town 

LETTER   II.  7 

of  the  Ameers,  that  they  have  called  in  their  army,  con- 
sisting of  20,000  Beloochees,  as  they  tell  Pottinger, 
"  for  the  purpose  of  paying  them  off;"  but  he  says  it 
looks  very  suspicious,  and  that  they  are  also  fortifying 
the  various  towns  on  the  Indus.  He  has  been  ex- 
pected here  for  the  last  two  or  three  days,  but  has  not 
yet  arrived.  Report  also  says  that  he  has  been  fired 
at  in  his  way  down. 

We  are  kept  in  the  most  strict  discipline,  and  have 
a  great  deal  to  do.  Out-  lying  and  in-lying  pickets 
every  night,  the  same  as  if  we  were  in  the  presence  of 
an  enemy.  This  is  a  very  pleasant  climate  at  pre- 
sent, though  excessively  cold  at  night-time,  as  we 
feel  to  our  cost  when  on  picket,  sleeping  in  the  open  air, 
with  nothing  but  our  cloaks  to  cover  us ;  and  some 
nights  the  dew  is  excessively  heavy,  which  is  very  un- 
healthy, and  has  laid  me  up  for  the  last  few  days  with 
an  attack  of  rheumatism.  However,  I  hope  to  be 
out  of  the  sick  list  to-day.  There  is  such  a  sharp, 
cutting,  easterly  wind,  that  I  can  hardly  hold  my  pen. 
It  averages  from  80  to  84  in  the  shade  during  the 
hottest  part  of  the  day,  but  that  is  only  for  about  two 
hours.  However,  in  the  hot  season  it  is  worse  than 
India;  and  we  have  proof  here,  even  at  this  time,  of 
the  power  of  the  sun  occasionally  ;  so  I  hope  that  we 
shall  push  on  for  Shikarpoor,  and  join  the  Bengal 
army,  under  Sir  H.  Fane,  as  quickly  as  possible,  as 
we  shall  then  have  some  chance  of  getting  to  Cabool, 
which  is  said  to  be  a  dehghtful  climate. 


We  are  still  totally  ignorant  of  our  future  proceed- 
ings, except  ;^at  I  have  stated  above.  We  are  in 
great  hopes  that  we  have  not  been  brought  here  for 
nothing,  and  that  we  may  have  a  chance  of  seeing 
a  few  hard  blows  given  and  taken  ere  long.  Hydrabad 
and  loote  is  what  is  most  talked  about  at  present.  It 
will,  however,  be  a  most  harassing  kind  of  warfare,  I 
expect,  as  the  force  of  the  Ameers  consists  of  Arabs 
and  Beloochees ;  a  regular  predatory  sort  of  boys,  ca- 
pital horsemen,  but  not  able,  I  should  think,  to  en- 
gage in  a  regular  stand-up  fight.  I  think  their  war- 
fare will  consist  in  trying  to  cut  off  a  picket  at  night, 
breaking  through  the  chain  of  sentries,,and  endea- 
vouring to  put  the  camp  in  confusion,  &c.  &c. ;  so 
that  the  poor  subalterns  on  picket  will  have  anything 
but  a  sinecure  there  ;  however,  it  will  be  a  capital 
way  of  learning  one's  duty  in  the  field.  By-the-bye, 
I  forgot  to  tell  you,  amongst  other  rumours  of  war, 
that  an  Ameer  was  down  here  a  few  days  ago  to 
obtain  an  interview  with  Sir  J.  Keane,  who  refused  to 
see  the  Ameer,  or  to  have  anything  to  do  with  him, 
and  told  him  that  he  would  soon  talk  to  him  at 

Our  force  is  now  nearly  all  arrived,  all  except  the 
Bombay  grenadier  regiment,  which  is  to  form  part  of 
ours,  (i.  e.,  the  first  brigade,)  and  not  the  19th  regi- 
ment, as  I  told  my  father.  We  have  now  here  two 
squadrons  of  H.  M.  4th  Light  Dragoons,  the  Queen's, 
and  the   17th  regiment.     The  native  regiments  are, 


the  Grenadiers,  the  5th,  the  19th,  and  the  24th; 
there  is  also  a  due  proportion  of  horse  and  foot  artil- 
lery, together  with  some  native  cavalry,  making  in  all 
5500  fighting  men.  We  are  nov^r  about  fifteen  miles 
from  the  sea,  and  v^e  got  up  quite  safe,  although 
there  is  a  very  dangerous  bar  to  cross,  and  all  the 
boats  v^^ere  not  so  lucky  as  ours,  as  the  horse  artil- 
lery lost  fifteen  horses ;  and  a  boat  belonging  to  a  mer- 
chant of  Bombay  went  down,  in  which  goods  to 
the  amount  of  one  thousand  rupees  (lOOZ.)  were 

Our  camp  presents  a  very  gay  appearance — so  many 
regiments  collected  together;  and  altogether  I  like 
this  sort  of  campaigning  work  very  well,  although  I 
expect  that  we  shall  be  very  hard  put  to  it  when  we 
march,  if  we  do  not  get  more  means  of  conveyance. 
The  wind  is  blowing  such  intolerable  dust  into  the 
tent  that  I  can  hardly  write.  The  captain  of  the 
vessel  which  brought  us  from  Bombay  came  up  here 
last  night,  and  returns  to-day  about  eleven  o'clock, 
and  sails  this  evening  for  Bombay  ;  I  shall  give  him 
this  letter  to  take,  so  that  you  and  my  father  will  re- 
ceive my  letters  at  the  same  time.  As  long  as  I  keep 
my  health  I  do  not  care  where  we  go  or  what  we  do. 
The  doctor  has  just  come  in  and  put  me  off  the  sick 
list.  It  is  getting  very  near  eleven  o'clock,  and  the 
captain  will  be  off  directly,  so  that  I  must  conclude 
my  letter,  hoping  you  will,  for  this  reason,  excuse  its 


shortness;  and  with  best  love,  &C.5  to  all  at  home, 
believe  me  ever  your  most  affectionate  brother, 


p.  S.  I  have  not  any  horse  at  present,  which  I  find 
a  great  inconvenience.  I  sold  what  I  had  at  Bel- 
gaum,  before  I  left  it,  at  a  dead  loss,  as  I  expected  to 
get  plenty  here  on  my  arrival,  but  have  been  wo- 
fully  disappointed.  There  were  some  splendid  crea- 
tures for  sale  at  Bombay,  which  was  very  tempting, 
but  they  asked  enormous  sums  for  them.  I  wonder 
where  I  shall  eat  my  Christmas  dinner  !  This  is 
the  first  European  army  that  has  been  on  the  Indus 
since  the  time  of  Alexander  the  Great. 



Camp  near  Tatta,  four  miles  from  the  Indus, 
January  1st,  1839. 

My  dear  Father, — I  write  to  wish  you  a  happy 
new  year  on  this  the  first  day  of  1839,  which,  if  it 
turns  out  as  its  opening  prognosticates,  is  Kkely  to  be 
a  very  eventful  one  for  me,  if  I  do  not  get  knocked 
on  the  head  or  otherwise  disposed  of.  I  wrote  to  you 
from  the  ship  Syden,  about  the  28  th  of  November, 
and  to  Kate  from  our  last  station  at  Bominacote,  on 
the  right  bank  of  the  Hujamree,  about  the  12th  of  last 
month,  both  which  letters  will,  I  expect,  leave  Bombay 
to-day  by  the  overland  mail  for  England ;  but  as  an- 
other mail  will  leave  on  the  19th,  and  I  thought  you 
would  be  anxious  to  learn  as  much  of  our  movements 
&c.  as  possible,  I  dare  say  the  present  letter  will 
not  be  amiss. 

We  remained  at  our  old  encampment,  Bominacote, 
until  the  26th  of  last  month,  and  I  picked  up  my 
health  very  fast  there,  and  was  able  to  enjoy  myself 


shooting  a  great  deal,  particularly  the  black  partridge, 
which  is  an  uncommonly  handsome  bird,  and  much 
bigger  than  the  English,  The  2nd  brigade  of  in- 
fantry, consisting  of  H.  M.  17th  regiment,  the  19th 
and  23rd  regiments  Native  Infantry,  under  the  com- 
mand of  General  Gordon,  a  Company's  officer,  to- 
gether with  the  4th  Light  Dragoons,  a  regiment  of 
Native  Cavalry,  and  one  troop  of  horse  artillery,  left 
the  aforesaid  place  on  the  24th,  with  Sir  John  Keane 
and  his  escort ;  and  the  first  brigade,  consisting  of 
ourselves,  the  1st  Grenadiers,  and  5th  regiment  Native 
Infantry,  under  the  command  of  our  chief.  General 
Willshire,  left  on  the  26th.  I  was  on  out-lying  picket 
the  night  before,  (Christmas  night,)  and  a  very  curious 
way  it  was  of  passing  it.  The  first  part  of  the  night,  till 
twelve  o'clock,  was  exceedingly  fine  and  beautiful,  and, 
as  I  lay  on  the  cold  ground,  my  thoughts  travelled 
towards  poor  old  Devonshire,  and  I  could  not  help 
fancying  in  what  a  much  more  comfortable  way  you 
must  be  spending  it  at  home,  all  snug,  &c.  at  Brook- 
hill.  After  twelve,  the  strong  northerly  wind,  which 
blows  with  great  force  at  intervals  this  time  of  the 
year  in  this  country,  sprung  up,  and  it  soon  got  in- 
tensely cold.  Towards  two  I  forgot  myself  for  about 
half  an  hour,  and  nodded  on  my  post,  and  on  awaken- 
ing I  was  taken  with  what  I  am  sure  must  have  been 
a  slight  attack  of  cholera.  I  was  stone  cold,  parti- 
cularly my  arms,  hands,  legs,  and  feet,  and  suffered 
pxcruciating  pains  in  my  stomach,  till  nature  relieved 

LETTER   III.  13 

me,  which  she  was  kind  enough  to  do  uncommonly 
frequent.  I  had  luckily  some  brandy  with  me,  of 
which  I  drank,  I  should  think,  half  a  bottle  down 
without  tasting  it ;  but  it  did  me  a  great  deal  of  good 
at  the  time,  although  I  have  not  been  well  since,  and 
am  still  very  far  from  being  so.  Our  camels,  of  which 
I  had  two,  were  furnished  us  by  the  commissariat,  and 
we  ought  to  have  had  them  at  four  o'clock  on  the 
day  before :  but,  like  everything  else,  we  did  not  get 
them  till  four  o'clock  the  morning  we  marched,  about 
an  hour  before  we  turned  out.  I  had  to  trust  entirely 
to  Providence  with  regard  to  mine,  as  to  whether  I 
should  get  them  or  not,  as  I  was  on  outlying  picket, 
and  could  not  attend  to  them,  and  I  had  just  two 
minutes,  after  coming  from  picket  in  the  morning,  to 
get  a  mouthful  of  villanous  coffee,  when  I  was  obliged 
to  fall  in  with  my  company,  which  formed  the  advanced 
guard  of  the  brigade,  and  march  off  in  double  quick 
time,  leaving  all  to  chance.  My  poor  stomach  wanted 
something  most  awfully  to  stop  its  proceedings,  but  it 
was  totally  out  of  the  question,  as  General  Willshire 
hurried  us  off  at  a  slapping  pace  ;  luckily,  the  march 
was  only  eight  miles,  so  it  did  not  fatigue  me  much :  I 
marched  on  foot  the  whole  of  it,  as  I  could  not  get  my 
pony  in  the  hurry  of  starting.  We  got  nothing  to  eat 
till  two  o'clock,  when  part  of  our  mess  things  arrived, 
and  we  pitched  into  whatever  we  could  get.  This 
march,  though,  was  by  far  the  most  pleasant,  as  we 
had  a  good  firm  tract  of  country  to  pass  over,  and  no 


sand.  The  "  rouse"  sounded  at  five,  and  we  marched 
again  at  half-past  six.  This  night  I  was  on  in-lying 
picket,  and  was  obliged  to  pass  it  in  harness,  and 
ready  to  turn  out  at  a  moment's  notice,  although 
awfully  tired.  We  had  a  very  unpleasant  march,  as 
the  north  winds  got  up  soon  after  we  started,  and 
blew  the  dust  and  sand  right  into  our  eyes ;  we  had, 
however,  being  on  the  advance  guard,  comparatively 
easy  work,  as  there  were  only  two  sections  with  each 
officer :  the  poor  colunm  suffered  severely.  This  day, 
however,  was  paradise  compared  to  the  next,  which 
was  eighteen  miles,  through  an  uninhabited  sandy 
desert,  with  a  few  tamarisk  shrubs  and  no  water,  ex- 
cept a  few  stagnant  pools,  which  was  the  cause  of  the 
march  being  so  long,  there  being  no  place  for  encamp- 
ment. General  Willshire,  however,  made  the  best  of 
a  bad  matter,  and  sent  on  the  night  before  to  a  place 
about  half  way,  and  the  least  unchristian-like  spot  he 
could  find,  half  the  men's  rations  for  the  next  day, 
together  with  the  bheesties  (or  water  carriers)  and  the 
men's  grog,  &c.,  with  orders  for  the  cooks  to  have 
these  rations  cooked  and  ready  for  the  men  as  soon 
as  they  marched  in ;  so  that  on  arriving  at  the  ground 
we  piled  arms  and  formed  a  curious  sort  of  pic-nic  in 
the  middle  of  the  desert.  We  halted  here  about  an 
hour,  and  lucky  it  was  that  the  men  got  the  means  of 
recruiting  their  strength  in  this  manner,  as  the  latter 
part  of  the  march  was  a  terrible  teaser.  We  marched 
off  fi:om  this  place  about  twelve.     Although  we  had 

LETTER   III,  15 

found  the  morning  pleasant  enough,  with  a  fine 
bracing  breeze,  yet  in  the  afternoon,  about  half  an  hour 
after  starting,  the  wind  went  down,  and  the  sun  shone 
out  terribly ;  the  sand  in  some  parts  was  half  knee 
deep,  and  although  there  was  no  breeze  to  blow  it  in 
our  faces,  yet  it  rose  from  the  trampling  of  so  many 
feet  in  successive  dense  columns,  and  completely  en- 
veloped the  whole  brigade,  almost  blinding  the  men, 
so  that  they  could  hardly  see  the  man  before  them, 
and  getting  into  their  noses  and  mouths  so  as  nearly 
to  suffocate  them ;  however,  they  bore  it  manfully, 
and  marched  straight  through  it  like  Britons.  Our 
encampment  that  night  was  at  a  place  called  Golam 
Shah,  on  the  Buggaur,  one  of  the  branch  streams  of 
the  Indus.  We  found  that  the  second  brigade  had 
only  left  it  the  same  morning,  having  been  obliged  to 
halt  there  the  preceding  day ;  and  General  Willshire 
found  a  letter  from  Sir  John  Keane,  advising  a  halt 
there  for  the  following  day,  which  we  accordingly  did, 
and  a  precious  comfortable  day  we  had.  I  got  off  my 
pony  at  the  close  of  this  day's  march  with  a  dreadful 
headache,  and  had  to  wait  for  an  hour  till  Halket's 
tent  and  kit,  with  whom  I  am  doubling  up,  arrived. 
His  servants  brought  me  the  delightful  intelligence 
that  my  camel  man  had  bolted  with  his  camels  at  our 
last  encampment,  and  that  my  things  were  all  left  there 
on  the  ground,  with  my  servant,  and  that  it  was  quite 
uncertain  when  they  would  be  up ;  in  fact,  it  seemed 
exceedingly  doubtful  whether  they  would  arrive  at  all. 


However,  they  did  come  in  at  last,  but  very  late,  on 
three  ponies,  two  bullocks,  and  one  donkey,  which 
were  the  only  things  my  boy  could  get,  and  for  which 
I  had  to  pay  considerably.  I  turned  in  as  soon  as  I 
could;  and  the  next  day,  which  was  a  most  wretched 
one,  I  was  very  unwell.  This  place,  Golam  Shah, 
must,  I  think,  be  one  of  the  most  wretched  places 
in  the  whole  world,  situated  as  it  is  in  the  heart 
of  a  desert,  with  only  one  recommendation,  —  viz., 
the  river  Buggaur,  the  water  of  which  is  excessively 
sweet  and  wholesome.  The  day  we  passed  at  it  was 
the  coldest  I  remember  since  leaving  England.  A 
strong  northerly  wind  blew  the  whole  day,  and  the 
clouds  of  dust  and  sand  that  rose  in  consequence  were 
so  thick  as  perfectly  to  obscure  the  sun,  and  all  we 
could  do  we  could  not  keep  ourselves  warm.  Here 
we  had  the  misfortune  also  to  lose  the  only  man  that 
has  as  yet  fallen  on  the  march,  an  old  soldier.  He 
was  taken  with  cholera  at  eight  in  the  morning  and 
died  at  twelve  at  night :  he  was  buried  about  six  hours 
afterwards,  just  as  the  regiment  marched.  The  hos- 
pital men  had  no  time  to  stretch  him,  and  he  was  laid 
in  the  earth  in  the  same  posture  in  which  he  died, 
with  his  arms  stuck  a  kimbo,  pressing  upon  his 
stomach,  which  shews  that  he  must  have  suffered  in- 
tense agony.  Poor  fellow  !  they  had  not  time  to  dig 
his  grave  very  deep,  and  I  am  afraid  the  jackals  will 
be  the  only  benefiters  by  his  death.  We  left  this 
place  the  next  morning,  the  30th,  and  arrived  here 

LETTER   III.  17 

(Tatta)  about  eleven  o'clock,  a  twelve-mile  march. 
A  great  number  of  the  2nd  brigade  rode  out  to  meet 
us,  and  the  4th  Light  Dragoons  very  kindly  asked  us 
to  breakfast  immediately  on  our  arrival.  You  may  be 
sure  they  had  not  to  ask  us  twice  ! 

Tatta  is  a  very  ancient  town,  said  to  have  been 
built  by  either  Alexander,  on  his  march  down  the 
Indus,  or  by  one  of  his  generals ;  the  ancient  name 
was  Patala.  At  that  time  the  country  was  in  posses- 
sion of  Hindoos,  or,  at  least,  of  the  followers  of  Brahma, 
who  were  most  probably  the  original  possessors  of  the 
greater  portion  of  the  east.  Afterwards,  on  the  rise  of 
Mahomet,  it  was  soon  in  possession  of  his  followers, 
who  seem  to  have  held  it  for  a  long  period,  as  they 
have  left  magnificent  proofs  of  their  grandeur,  both  in 
the  city  and  all  round  the  neighbourhood,  which  is 
studded  with  splendid  cupolas,  domes,  temples,  and 
tombs ;  there  is  one  in  particular  in  the  town  itself, 
an  old  tomb,  now  used  as  a  caravanserai,  which  is  ex- 
cessively handsome.  When  I  talk  of  a  tomb  being 
turned  into  a  caravanserai,  you  will  of  course  under- 
stand that  a  tomb  in  this  part  of  the  world  is  very  dif- 
ferent from  one  in  the  western  part  of  the  globe.  This 
tomb  itself  would  cover  as  much  ground  as  Exeter 
Cathedral.  The  inside  of  the  domes  are  very  beauti- 
fully enamelled  in  the  chastest  colours,  and  with  most 
excellent  taste,  and  would  put  to  shame  the  most 
handsome  drawing-room  in  London,  I  should  think. 
I  have  never  repented  not  being  able  to  draw  so  much 


as  I  have  since  I  have  been  in  the  East,  but  particu- 
larly since  I  have  been  at  this  place,  where  there  is  so 
much  that  would  look  well  in  a  sketch  ;  but  I  would 
not  give  twopence  to  be  able  to  draw  and  not  draw 
well,  particularly  when  I  see  the  daubs  that  some  men, 
who  fancy  they  are  hands  at  it,  produce,  after  fagging 
at  the  simplest  thing  possible,  and  I  believe  that  if 
nature  does  not  give  you  a  turn  for  it,  all  the  trying 
possible  would  never  make  a  painter,  and  that  what 
the  old  Roman  proverb  said  of  the  poet,  "  Non  fit  sed 
nascitur  poeta,"  is  equally  applicable  to  the  painter. 
I  tried  it  for  a  short  time,  at  Hanover,  but  my  master 
told  me  I  was  the  most  awkward  and  stupid  pupil  he 
ever  had,  and  advised  me  to  cut  the  concern,  and  I 
followed  his  advice  ;  nor  am  I  sorry  that  I  did  so,  as  I 
should  never  have  been  able  to  draw  well,  and  should 
have  only  been  discontented,  and  given  it  up  in  dis- 
gust. We  have,  however,  two  officers  in  our  regiment 
who  both  draw  and  sketch  exceedingly  well ;  and  I 
will  try  to  get  duplicates  from  them  if  possible,  so  that, 
if  God  spares  my  life,  and  I  ever  return  home,  I  shall 
be  able  to  shew  you  some  specimens  of  the  country 
we  have  passed  through. 

Jan,  2nd, — Well,  we  are  to  have  no  fighting,  at 
least  at  present,  it  appears.  This  will  be  cheering 
news  for  Kitty,  I  expect.  We  were  most  egregiously 
disappointed  in  the  town  or  city  of  Tatta  itself  We 
saw  it  at  a  great  distance  on  our  march,  and  on 
arriving  on  our  encamping  ground,  it  looked  exces- 

LETTER   III.  19 

sively  well,  and  gave  us  the  idea  of  a  very  handsome 
place.  We  saw  what  we  imagined  to  be  high  houses, 
built  of  stone,  towers  and  pillars ;  but  lo  I  when  we 
rode  in  to  examine  it,  these  splendid  buildings  turned 
out  to  be  a  most  miserable  collection  of  white  mud 
houses,  which  had  the  appearance  of  stone  at  a  dis- 
tance. Some  of  them  were  tolerably  high,  certainly  ; 
but  the  most  wretched-looking  things  possible.  This 
is  the  case  with  most  towns  in  the  east.  Like  Dart- 
mouth, they  all  look  best  a  la  distance. 

I  am  sorry  to  say  that  we  have  a  great  many  men  in 
the  hospital  now,  and  four  officers  on  the  sick  list ;  two 
of  them  very  unwell.  All  the  cases  are  bowel  complaints, 
and  most  of  them  dysentery.  This  is  the  case  generally. 
While  on  the  march,  soldiers  seldom  feel  it ;  but  when 
the  halt  afterwards  comes,  then  they  get  touched  up 
awfully.  However,  it  is  not  to  be  wondered  at,  when 
one  considers  the  quantity  of  duty  which  they  have  to 
perform  at  present.  Out-lying  and  in-lying  pickets, 
and  guards,  &c. ;  add  to  which,  the  being  suddenly 
transported  from  the  climate  of  India,  to  which  most 
of  them  have  become  inured  by  a  residence,  on  the 
average,  of  twelve  years,  to  this  comparatively  cold 
and  changeful  climate,  is  enough  of  itself  to  shake 
them  a  little.  They  have  also  done  what  no  Indian 
troops  have  done  before :  in  marching  in  India,  al- 
most everything  is  carried  for  the  soldier ;  he  merely 
carries  what  he  does  on  parade — viz.,  his  firelock  and 
accoutrements.    Our  regiment  though,  by-the-bye,  has 


20  CAMPAIGN    OF    THE    INDUS. 

always  carried  a  blanket,  with  a  clean  shirt  and  stock- 
ings and  flannel  waistcoat  wrapped  up  in  it,  that  they 
may  be  enabled  to  change  as  soon  as  they  have 
marched  in.  On  this  march,  each  man  has  carried 
his  knapsack,  with  his  kit  in  it,  twenty  rounds  of  am- 
munition, a  havresack  with  his  day's  rations,  and  a 
small  round  keg  containing  water,  the  weight  of  all 
which  is  no  joke.  While  at  Bominacote,  we  fully  ex- 
pected to  have  a  little  fighting  after  passing  Tatta, 
and  on  our  arrival  here  we  heard  a  report  which  in- 
duced us  to  believe  that  we  should  have  a  brush  with 
the  Ameers  very  shortly ;  but  it  appears  now  that  the 
Ameers  have  seen  the  folly  of  such  proceedings,  and 
have  determined  to  receive  us  amicably,  and  to  assist 
our  passage  through  their  country,  and  that  it  was 
only  one  of  the  Ameers  that  was  inclined  to  be  restive. 
He  endeavoured  to  stop  our  camels,  &c.,  and  managed 
to  do  so  for  some  time,  and  collected  as  much  of  what 
they  call  an  army  as  he  could — about  5000  of  these 
Beloochees,  but  with  no  guns,  or  anything  of  that  sort. 
However,  on  collecting  them,  they  represented  to 
him  that  the  British  troops  were  behaving  so  well,  and 
the  inhabitants  of  the  country  were  getting  so  much 
more  money  for  their  articles  of  sale  than  they  ever 
got  before,  that  they  considered  it  was  more  for 
their  profit  and  advantage  that  the  English  should 
march  through  their  country  than  that  they  should 
oppose  them,  and  get  licked  into  the  bargain,  as  they 
were  sure  they  would  be.     All  eastern  nations  have  an 


awful  dread  of  European  artillery.  It  also  happened 
that  the  poor  Ameer  had  unfortunately  not  the 
wherewithal  to  carry  on  the  war,  and  his  army  made 
excessively  high  demands  on  him,  you  may  be  sure. 
The  consequence  of  all  which  was,  that  the  army  dis- 
solved itself  as  quietly  as  possible,  and  the  poor  Ameer 
found  himself  solus.  The  result  is,  that  a  deputation 
is  now  here,  with  a  small  force  from  the  head  Ameer, 
at  Hydrabad,  under  the  command  of  Nur  Mahomed, 
another  Ameer,  and  that  he  has  made  most  ample 
apologies  for  the  conduct  of  his  brother  Ameer,  and 
offered  not  only  to  let  us  pass  through  his  country,  but 
to  assist  us  in  so  doing  to  the  utmost  of  his  power.  It 
was  indeed  well  for  the  Ameers  that  they  came  to 
this  decision,  as  had  they  acted  contrary  we  should 
have  taken  possession  of  their  country  to  a  moral  cer- 
tainty. Now  they  have  a  chance  of  keeping  half  the 

We  have  here  certainly  the  flower  of  the  Bombay 
army,  and  a  very  respectable  force  in  every  respect : 
two  of  the  best  European  regiments,  four  of  the  best 
native,  the  4th  dragoons,  two  regiments  of  light 
cavalry,  two  troops  of  horse  artillery  in  prime  order, 
and  a  battalion  of  foot  artillery,  together  with  a 
splendid  band  of  auxiliary  horse  from  Cutch,  the 
finest  looking  fellows  I  ever  saw :  they  arrived  here 
on  the  same  day  as  ourselves.  I  was  standing  on  one 
of  the  hills  as  they  wound  their  way  round  it ;  I  was 
never  struck  with  anything  so  much,  nor  have  I  ever 
c  2 


seen  anything  so  orientally  military  before.  They 
are  dressed  in  green  garments,  edged  with  gold,  and 
red  turbans,  tied  under  the  chin,  like  the  old  Mah- 
ratta  soldiers ;  their  arms  are  match-lock,  lance,  sci- 
mitar, and  pistols,  and  they  appear  to  be  excellent 
and  practical  riders.  They  are  quite  an  indepen- 
dent corps,  each  man  finding  his  own  horse,  arms, 
accoutrements,  &c.,  and  they  take  good  care  to  be 
excellently  mounted.  They  have  a  few  European 
officers  attached  to  them  from  the  Bombay  establish- 
ment. Their  dress  is  also  uncommonly  handsome  ;  a 
green  hussar  dress,  with  gold  braiding.  In  addition 
to  all  this  force,  we  have  a  subsidiary  one  nearly  as 
large,  coming  on  directly  to  follow  our  steps,  and  oc- 
cupy Sinde,  while  we  march  on  with  the  Bengalees 
for  Cabool.  This  force,  they  say,  is  to  consist  of 
H.  M.  40th  regiment  from  Deesa,  the  10th,  16th, 
22nd,  and  24th  regiments,  23rd  N.  I.,  together  with 
H.  M.  90th  and  61st  regiments,  and  Ceylon  Rifle 
Corps  (Malays)  from  Ceylon,  so  that  I  expect  the 
government  at  home  will  have  to  send  more  regiments 
to  India  as  quickly  as  possible.  Sir  J.  Keane  is  very 
likely  to  have  the  command  of  the  whole  force,  both 
Bombay  and  Bengal,  as  they  say  Sir  H.  Fane  is  gone 
back  to  Bengal  with  half  the  Bengal  force,  in  conse- 
quence of  the  Burmese  declaring  war;  which,  as 
might  have  been  expected,  they  did  directly  when  so 
many  regiments  were  marched  from  their  neighbour- 
hood.    This  report   is,    however,  contradicted,    and 

LETTER   III.  23 

they  say  now  that  Sir  H.  Fane  is  going  home,  and 
will  meet  us  at  Shikarpoor  or  Hydrabad,  give  up  the 
command  to  Sir  J.  Keane,  and  go  down  the  Indus, 
and  thence  to  England  overland.  Which  is  the  true 
version  I  know  not ;  but  I  am  afraid  that  I  have  little 
chance  of  meeting  Colonel  Fane,  and  giving  him 
Arthur's  letter,  which  I  expected  to  do  when  I  wrote 
last.  I  am  delighted  at  the  prospect  of  our  going  to 
Cabool:  there  we  may  have  some  fighting,  and  have  a 
chance  of  being  permanently  quartered  till  we  return 
to  Europe,  whenever  that  may  be. 

What  the  original  cause  of  all  this  was,  as  I  told 
you  before,  I  hardly  know ;  and  you  are  more  likely 
to  get  at  the  true  version  from  some  of  the  Indian 
newspapers,  or  from  any  friends  you  may  have  con- 
nected with  this  part  of  the  world,  than  from  me. 
But,  as  far  as  I  can  learn,  this  appears  to  be  it :  Shah 
Shooja  is  the  rightful  heir  to  the  throne  of  Ca- 
bool, and  Dost  Mahomed  is  what  Mr.  C.  Dickens 
calls  the  "wrongful  one,"  alias  the  usurper.  Dost 
Mahomed  had  possession  of  the  country,  and  the  In- 
dian government,  from  what  motives  I  know  not,  de- 
termined to  unseat  him  and  replace  Shah  Shooja. 
In  this  matter  they  are  assisted  by  old  Runjet  Sing, 
King  of  Lahore,  or,  as  his  oriental  title  goes,  "  the 
blind  lion  of  the  Punjab."  The  Persians,  on  the 
contrary,  took  part  with  Dost  Mahomed,  insulted  our 
resident  at  their  court,  and  besieged  Shah  Shooja's 
party  in  Herat ;  from  which,  however,  after  a  siege  of 

24  CAMPAIGN    OF    THE    INDUS. 

long  duration,  tlie}^  were  finally  obliged  to  retire. 
There  was  a  report  at  first  that  Russia  was  concerned 
in  this  affair,  and  that  Russian  troops  were  present 
with  the  Persians  at  the  siege  ;  but  these  turned  out  to 
be  a  regiment  or  two  of  Russian  renegadoes  whom 
the  King  of  Persia  has  in  his  pay.  There  was  an- 
other report  of  a  letter  having  been  discovered  from 
the  government  of  Russia  to  the  King  of  Persia, 
which  induced  the  belief  that  the  Emperor  of  Russia 
was  playing  a  deep  game,  the  object  of  which  was  to 
lessen  our  influence  in  the  East;  and  many  people,  I 
believe,  are  very  much  of  this  opinion.  How  far  all  this 
may  be  true  I  know  not ;  but  I  have  been  told  by  old 
Indians  that  for  a  long  time  the  Indian  government 
have  been  anxious  to  have  a  strong  footing  in  Sinde, 
and  to  command  the  navigation  of  the  Indus ;  and 
that  now  they  have  the  opportunity  they  are  not 
likely  to  let  it  slip.  The  Afghans  are  a  very  hardy 
race  of  men,  and  we  may  have  some  sharp  work  with 
them ;  but  I  think  a  gun  or  two  of  our  horse  artillery 
would  have  sent  the  Beloochees  scampering.  They 
are  miserably  equipped ;  but  being  nearly  all  robbers, 
they  might  have  annoyed  us  by  a  night  attack,  which 
would  have  been  anything  but  pleasant,  particularly 
for  the  poor  sub.  on  out-lying  picket.  Some  Bombay 
native  merchants  are  at  present  at  Tatta ;  they  have 
been  here  for  ten  years,  and  have  been  afraid  to  stir 
for  fear  of  being  robbed.  I  have  no  doubt  but  that 
the  inhabitants  of  the  country  would  prefer  our  go- 

LETTER   III.  25 

vernment  considerably  to  that  of  the  Ameers,  as  they 
are  exceedingly  tyrannical,  and  grind  their  subjects 
to  the  last  degree,  demanding  half  of  everything  that 
is  offered  for  sale.  When  Burnes  travelled  first  in 
this  country,  some  few  years  ago,  and  was  received 
by  the  Ameer  in  divan,  at  Hydrabad,  an  old  priest 
who  was  present  is  said  to  have  reproved  the  Ameer 
for  receiving  Burnes  so  civilly,  and  to  have  told  him 
"  that  since  one  Englishman  had  seen  the  Indus,  it 
would  not  be  long  before  they  would  be  in  possession 
of  it ;"  and  so  it  seems  likely  to  turn  out. 

Well;  as  long  as  I  keep  my  health  I  care  little 
where  we  go  or  what  we  do;  but  marching  in  ill 
health  is  a  great  damper  to  the  spirits.  The  stay-at- 
hcfme  soldiers  in  England  little  know  what  service  in 
this  climate  really  is.  I  should  like  to  see  ******** 
af  the  *****  on  out-lying  picket  here ;  he  would  not 
find  it  quite  so  pleasant  as  Almack's.  I  have  very 
little  time  to  add  more,  as  the  post  goes  to  Bombay 
to-day,  but  to  wish  you  all  at  home  a  very  happy  new 
year,  and  love  to  all  relations  and  friends,  as  you  may 
not  hear  from  me  again  for  some  time.  I  will  endea- 
vour to  pick  up  as  many  curiosities  and  things  of  that 
description  as  possible  for  you,  if  I  do  not  get  knocked 
on  the  head.  I  keep  a  journal,  and  will  write  by 
every  opportunity.  Your  next  letter  to  me  may  find 
me  in  Cabool.     Once  more,  good  bye. 

Ever  your  affectionate  son, 




Camp,  near  Jarruk,  on  the  banks  of  the  Indus, 
Twenty  miles  from  Hydrabad, 

January,  31st,  1839. 

My  dear  Father, — I  had  fully  intended  this  letter 
for  Kitty,  but  such  a  dreadful  event  happened  in 
our  regiment  yesterday,  that  I  was  afraid,  if  she  was 
at  all  unwell  when  she  received  the  letter,  connecting 
it,  as  she  would,  with  me,  it  might  throw  her  into 
some  dreadful  fever,  or  something  of  that  sort.  I 
have  very  little  time  to  write,  as  the  post  leaves  this, 
by  steamer,  at  three  o'clock  to-day;  and  I  have  a 
great  deal  to  do  during  the  day.  I  think  it  my  duty, 
however,  to  write,  as  the  report  of  the  circumstance 
might  get  into  the  papers  without  mentioning  names, 
or  giving  wrong  ones,  and  you  might  be  needlessly 

To  strike  at  once  in  medias  res,  this  event  is  no  less 
than  the  horrible  death  of  three  of  our  officers  in  a  burn- 
ing shikargur,  or  large  thicket,  enclosed  by  the  Ameers 
for  the  preservation  of  game.     The  names  of  the  poor. 

LETTER   IV.  27 

unfortunate  fellows  are  Sparke,  (whom,  by-the-bye, 
you  might  have  seen  at  Chatham,)  Nixon,  and  Hib- 
bert.  The  two  first,  Lieut.  Sparke,  in  the  Grenadiers, 
and  Nixon,  in  the  Light  Company.  Hibbert  was 
assistant-surgeon.  They  were  three  of  the  finest 
hearted  fellows :  Nixon,  a  long  time  one  of  my  fellow 
subs  in  the  Light  Company.  (I  can  hardly  write,  my 
hand  shakes  so.)  Poor  Hibbert  was  an  exceedingly 
clever  fellow,  and  a  great  traveller,  and  one  of  the 
most  beautiful  draughtsmen  you  could  meet  with  any 
where.  They  are  all  three  a  terrible  loss  to  our 
corps.  I  will  tell  you  the  mournful  tale  as  it  hap- 
pened. We  arrived  here  on  the  25th.  I  breakfasted 
on  Tuesday  with  them  at  mess,  which  was  the  last  time 
I  ever  saw  them  alive  :  they  were  in  exceedingly  high 
spirits.  The  success  of  an  enterprise  the  day  before 
appears  to  have  determined  them  to  go  upon  another 
expedition  on  this  day,  which  at  first  sight  did  not 
appear  half  so  hazardous  as  it  unfortunately  proved  to 
be  ;  this  was  no  less  than  going  into  a  shikargur  (of 
which  I  have  explained  the  meaning  above)  about  four 
or  five  miles  in  the  rear  of  our  camp,  and  which  was 
supposed  to  be  well  stocked  with  game.  It  happened 
that  this  jungle  had  been  set  on  fire  about  two  days 
previously,  most  likely  by  some  of  our  camel  drivers, 
or  other  native  followers :  some  said  it  was  done  by 
the  Beloochees  ;  but  this  I  think  very  unlikely,  as  it  is 
dead  to  leeward  of  our  camp.  Well,  they  did  not  ap- 
pear in  the  evening,  and  we  began  to  be  rather 
c  3 

28  CAMPAIGN    OF    THE    INDUS. 

alarmed  on  their  account :  however,  we  thought  they 
would  turn  up  by  some  chance  or  other.  Next  morn- 
ing (yesterday),  when  the  regiment  fell  in,  an  hour 
before  daylight,  which  the  whole  camp  does  here 
every  morning,  as  we  are  supposed  to  have  a  hostile 
force  not  very  far  from  us,  they  were  reported  absent. 
Breakfast  came ;  no  tidings  of  them :  ten ;  eleven 
o'clock ;  and  they  began  to  be  the  talk  of  the  whole 
camp.  However,  we  speculated  that  the  worst  that 
could  have  happened  to  them  was  being  taken  pri- 
soners by  a  party  of  Beloochees,  and  kept  as  hostages, 
or  something  of  that  sort.  At  twelve,  General  Will- 
shire  became  so  alarmed  and  anxious  about  them  that 
he  sent  out  a  troop  of  the  1st  Light  Cavalry  to  scour 
the  jungles,  and  discover  what  they  could  of  them  ; 
another  officer  sent  out  a  party  of  six  natives,  with  the 
promise  of  a  reward  of  two  hundred  rupees  if  they 
could  find  any  tidings  of  them.  Well ;  the  day  went 
on;  and  at  mess,  at  six  o'clock,  nothing  had  been 
heard  relative  to  their  fate,  except  that  a  little  dog 
belonging  to  poor  Nixon  returned  to  camp  about  four 
o'clock.  About  eight  o'clock  I  was  in  Dickinson's 
tent,  smoking  a  cheroot,  &c.,  previous  to  turning  in, 
when  one  of  our  servants  rushed  in  with  the  dreadful 
intelligence  that  the  bodies  had  been  found  in  the 
jungle  by  the  Light  Cavalry.  It  struck  us  at  first  so 
unexpectedly,  and  as  being  a  thing  so  dreadful,  that 
we  would  hardly  believe  it ;  however,  all  doubt  was 
soon  changed  into  horrible  reality  by  the  arrival  of 

LETTER   IV.  29 

the  bodies  within  our  lines.  I  was  determined  not  to 
see  them ;  but  there  was  a  horrible  fascination  which 
drew  one  along  with  the  rest  to  the  hospital  tent, 
where  they  were  lying.  *****  Twelve 
o'clock. — Well ;  I  am  just  returned  from  seeing  the 
last  honours  paid  to  their  remains  ;  it  is  a  melancholy 
business  a  military  funeral ;  every  officer  in  camp  at- 
tended ;  and,  after  all,  they  have  had  the  satisfaction  of 
a  Christian  burial,  which  may  not  be  our  luck  in  a 
short  time.  I  do  not  know  why,  but  this  sad  event 
has  made  me  an  old  woman  almost !  They  lie  side 
by  side  on  a  hill  just  in  the  rear  of  our  camp  ;  "  no 
useless  coffin  enclosed  their  corse;"  but  there  they 
lie  together,  wrapped  in  their  cloaks.  Peace  to  their 
manes !  We  intend  erecting  a  monument  to  them,  if 
possible.  I  learned  that  some  of  the  staff  had  been  to 
the  jungle  to  investigate  it  thoroughly  to-day,  and 
from  various  circumstances,  have  come  to  the  conclu- 
sion that  they  had  climbed  up  some  high  trees,  which 
surrounded  the  place  where  they  fell,  in  order  to 
shoot  the  game  as  they  came  out,  and  that  before  they 
had  time  to  make  their  escape,  a  breeze  came,  which 
brought  the  smoke,  and  which  most  likely  stifled,  or 
at  least  rendered  them  senseless.  Let  us  hope  that 
this  was  the  case,  as  I  should  think  that  so  their  death 
would  not  have  been  very  painful :  the  position  in 
which  their  bodies  were  lying  when  found  seems  to 
warrant  this  supposition.  A  porcupine  was  found 
close  to  their  trees,  burnt  to  a  cinder.     It  blew  very 

30  CAMPAIGN    OF    THE    INDUS. 

hard  last  night,  and  I  passed  an  almost  sleepless  night 
in  thinking  of  these  poor  fellows.  It  gives  a  man  an 
awful  shake  in  going  through  life,  seeing  the  very 
fellows  you  have  lived  with  for  the  last  two  years,  in 
whose  proceedings  you  have  borne  a  part,  brought 
suddenly  before  you  in  such  a  state :  a  man  in  these 
situations  thinks  more  in  two  hours  than  he  does  in 
the  whole  course  of  his  natural  life  under  ordinary 
circumstances.  It  proves  what  helpless  beings  we  are  ; 
how  little  we  can  control  our  own  actions  :  truly,  "  in 
the  midst  of  life  we  are  in  death." 

I  wrote  to  you  on  the  new  year's  day  everything 
that  had  happened  up  to  that  time  ;  the  letter  was  to 
have  gone  by  the  overland  mail  of  the  19th.  I  hope 
you  will  receive  it  safe,  as  I  should  be  sorry  you 
should  lose  anything  from  me  now,  as  it  may  be  the 
last  you  may  ever  have,  so  precarious  are  the  chances 
of  a  soldier's  life  on  actual  service.  Shortly  after 
writing  to  you,  I  got  ill  again,  and  it  ended  in  a  slight 
fever,  which  cleared  me  out  altogether,  since  which 
I  have  been  in  perfectly  good  health,  thank  God. 
I  came  off  the  sick  list  on  the  22nd  January,  the  day 
before  we  marched  from  Tatta.  I  will  give  you  my 
journal  from  that  time  to  the  sad  event  which  has  just 

Wednesday,  Jan,  23,  1839. — On  this  day,  at  6  a.m., 
the  corps  d'arme  of  Sinde  marched  out  of  the  en- 
campment near  Tatta  en  route  for  Hydrabad,  the 
Cutch  Auxiliary  Horse  in  advance,  detaching  flankers. 

LETTER   IV.  31 

&c.,  then  the  main  body  in  the  following  order : — 
The  4th  Light  Dragoons  in  front ;  nextj  one  squadron 
of  horse  artillery,  followed  by  two  squadrons  of  the 
1st  regiment  of  Bombay  Light  Cavalry,  one  company 
of  foot  artillery,  then  the  first  brigade  of  infantry, 
under  General  Willshire,  consisting  of  the  Queen's 
Royals,  5th  and  1st,  or  Grenadier  regiment,  Native  In- 
fantry, a  second  squadron  of  horse  artillery,  a  second 
company  of  foot  artillery ;  the  2nd  infantry  brigade, 
consisting  of  H.  M.  17th  regiment,  the  19th  and  23rd 
regiments  Native  Infantry ;  the  whole  closed  by  two 
other  squadrons  of  1st  Light  Cavalry.  We  (i.  e.,  the 
1st  brigade)  left  our  ground  a  quarter  before  six,  and 
halted  on  a  rising  ground  close  to  the  walls  of  Tatta, 
whence  we  had  a  very  fair  view  of  the  cavalry,  ar- 
tillery, &c.,  that  were  in  the  advance  of  us,  winding 
their  v/ay  through  a  pretty  avenue  of  trees  :  the  whole 
presented  a  very  animated  and  martial  appearance, 
the  different  corps  marching  off  with  colours  uncased, 
band  playing,  &c.  Cunningham's,  or  the  Poonah 
Auxiliary  Horse,  having  only  arrived  the  night  before, 
did  not  join  the  main  body,  but  came  up  somewhat 
later  in  the  day,  I  believe.  The  march  of  the  main 
body  this  day  was  not  more  than  ten  miles ;  but  our 
brigade  was  posted  two  miles  in  advance  of  the  rest  of 
the  force,  and  the  Queen's  were  nearly  a  mile  in  ad- 
vance of  the  other  two  regiments  of  the  brigade  ;  so 
that  we  marched  about  thirteen  miles.  We  encamped 
in  a  rather  pretty  valley  surrounded  by  barren  rocks, 


with  our  right  resting,  on  a  shikargur  (or  hunting 
thicket) ;  we  had  a  fine  pebbly  bottom,  which  was  a 
great  reHef  to  our  feet  after  the  hot  dust  of  Tatta.  My 
baggage  did  not  make  its  appearance  till  about  five 
o'clock,  my  unfortunate  young  camel  having  proved 
restive,  and  flung  its  load  two  or  three  times,  thereby 
considerably  damaging  my  cot  and  table :  mess  at  six, 
— nothing  particular. 

Thursday,  Jan.  24. — In  consequence  of  our  being 
so  much  in  advance,  our  "  rouse"  did  not  sound  till 
six  o'clock  this  morning,  and  we  did  not  march  off  our 
ground  till  seven.  After  we  had  marched  about  two 
miles,  we  halted  and  piled  arms,  to  enable  the  cavalry, 
&c.,  in  our  rear  to  pass  on,  and  thus  we  had  a  very 
good  review  of  them :  they  marched  in  the  same  order 
as  yesterday,  except  that  in  addition,  and  near  to  the 
light  cavalry,  came  Cunningham's  horse  from  Poonah^ 
this  was  the  first  time  we  had  seen  them  ;  they  made 
a  very  splendid  appearance,  about  600  strong,  and 
well  equipped  in  every  respect ;  their  dress  and  ac- 
coutrements the  same  as  the  Cutch  Horse,  (of  which  I 
gave  you  a  description  in  my  last,)  with  the  difference 
of  wearing  yellow  and  red  instead  of  green  and  red. 
We  had  a  very  pleasant  march  this  day,  except  the 
latter  part,  which  was  exceedingly  dusty ;  some  very 
pretty  and  romantic  scenery,  consisting  of  ruined  forts, 
abrupt  hills,  large  rocks,  interspersed  with  some  beau- 
tiful lakes  here  and  there.  We  reached  our  encamp- 
ing ground   rather  late — half-past   eleven  o'clock — 

LETTER   IV.  33 

lost  my  breakfast,  owing  to  my  native  groom,  who 
carried  some  stock  for  me,  and  to  whom  I  had  given 
directions  to  wait  by  the  regiment  till  they  had  piled 
arms  and  were  dismissed,  having  disobeyed  my  orders, 
and  cut  off  with  my  tatter  to  the  river,  about  three 
miles  off :  gave  chase  directly  the  parade  was  dismissed, 
and  walked  through  a  shikargur  to  the  river,  but  could 
not  find  the  rascal.  I  had,  however,  a  good  view  of  the 
Indus,  which  does  not  here  appear  to  be  very  broad  : 
a  cruel  hot  day ;  and,  in  addition  to  my  other  mis- 
fortunes, was  nearly  stifled  by  the  clouds  of  dust  raised 
by  cavalry  of  every  description  leading  their  horses  to 
water.  On  my  return  to  camp  I  luckily  found  my 
baggage  arrived,  and  had  a  good  snoose  till  six  o'clock, 
mess  time  ;  heard  at  mess  that  the  Ameers  had  agreed 
to  all  our  terms,  and  would  do  everything  to  assist 
our  passage  through  their  country ;  that  we  were 
to  march  straight  to  Shikarpoor,  without  halting  at 
Hydrabad ;  after  remaining  at  which  place  for  some 
time,  we  should  advance  upon  Candahar, — all  fudge. 
Our  position  this  halt  was  about  the  centre  of  the 
army, — bad  encamping  ground, — very  dusty. 

Friday,  25th. — Left  our  encampment  at  six,  in  the 
same  order  as  before;  our  out-lying  picket,  under 
Stisted,  joined  us  near  our  first  halt,  about  three  miles. 
Warlike  news, — the  Ameers  had  rejected  our  treaty, 
and  that  a  force  of  10,000  Beloochees  had  crossed  the 
river,  and  would  probably  give  us  some  trouble. 
Stisted  had  received  orders  to  keep  a  very  sharp  look- 


out  with  his  picket,  as  there  was  a  chance  of  its  being 
attacked :  Jephson  joined,  with  news  from  Sir  J. 
Keane,  that  there  was  every  chance  of  our  being  at- 
tacked on  the  line  of  march ;  however,  we  were  not, 
although  we  passed  over  some  very  pretty  ground  for 
a  battle.  Marched  into  our  encamping  ground  about 
half-past  ten,  near  a  half-ruined  village  called  Jarruk, 
on  the  banks  of  the  river ;  the  army  here  took  up  a 
rather  strong  position,  on  a  chain  of  heights ;  our  brigade 
being,  however,  pushed  on  again  in  advance,  on  some 
low  and  jungly  ground  near  the  river ;  the  Queen's 
again  on  the  extreme  front.  News  still  warlike ; 
the  Beloochees,  under  Meer  Mahomet,  one  of  the 
Ameers,  and  the  most  restive  of  them,  being  supposed 
to  be  near  us  in  great  force,  though  nobody  seemed 
to  know  where.  All  the  oot-wallas,  or  camel-drivers, 
put  under  charge  of  sentries,  as  there  was  reason  to 
suspect  they  meditated  deserting  in  the  night  with  our 
camels.  Bad  encamping  ground  again, —  a  dusty,  half- 
cultivated  field. 

Saturday i  26th. — Turned  out  of  bed  between  two 
and  three,  a.  m.,  with  orders  to  fall  in,  at  a  moment's 
notice,  in  "  light  marching  order,"  as  an  attack  was 
strongly  expected.  Spies  had  reported  that  10,000 
Beloochees  were  in  a  shikargur  not  seven  miles  from 
us,  and  that  they  intended  a  night  attack ;  everybody 
in  the  highest  state  of  excitement,  pistols  loading,  &c. 
Fell  in  an  hour  before  daylight ;  cavalry  sent  out  in  all 
directions ;  staff  and  field-officers  galloping  about  like 

I^ETTER   IV.  35 

mad  fellows ;  remained  under  arms  till  day  had  fully 
broke,  when  we  were  dismissed,  but  commanded  not 
to  stray  far  from  camp :  great  excitement  all  day ; 
Cunningham's  horse  sent  out  to  reconnoitre ;  returned 
late  at  night,  reporting  that  they  had  patrolled  sixteen 
miles  in  advance,  had  closely  examined  the  shikargur 
in  question,  and  could  find  no  traces  of  the  Beloochees, 
— a  strong  suspicion,  however,  remained  that  there 
were  Beloochees  in  our  neighbourhood. 

Sunday,  21  th. — Under  arms  an  hour  before  day- 
light ;  no  further  news  ;  camp  quiet.  As  I  was  to  be 
on  out-lying  picket  this  evening,  rode  out  after  break- 
fast to  look  at  my  ground,  which  appeared  rather 
strong,  intersected  with  ravines,  brushwood,  &c.,  and 
a  good  place  to  hold  against  cavalry.  Mounted  picket 
at  five  o'clock,  p.  m.,  fifty-seven  rank  and  file,  two  Ser- 
jeants, four  corporals,  and  one  bugler,  a  chain  of  nine 
double  sentries,  the  right  resting  on  the  river  and  the 
Hydrabad  road,  and  the  chain  running  along  a  dry 
nullah,  till  it  communicated  with  the  sentries  of  the 
5th  regiment's  picket;  a  corporal's  party  of  three 
men  detached  in  advance  to  an  old  ruin  on  the  left 
front ;  a  picket  of  cavalry  about  two  miles  in  advance, 
with  videttes  on  some  high  ground.  A  beautiful  moon- 
light night,  and  not  very  cold  till  about  one  o'clock  in 
the  morning ;  lay  on  the  ground  and  thought  of  what 
was  going  on  at  Brookhill  and  fancy  ball  at  Torquay  ; 
visited  my  sentries  continually;  the  men  in  high 
spirits,  and  very  much  on  the  alert ;  nothing  extraor- 
dinary occurred. 

36  CAMPAIGN    OF    THE    INDUS. 

Here  I  have  brought  my  journal  down  to  the  sad 
event  which  has  filled  the  former  part  of  my  letter. 
With  regard  to  our  future  operations,  reports  seem  to 
be  so  very  various  that  one  hardly  knows  what  to 
think;  but  the  general  opinion  seems  to  be,  that,  as 
the  Ameers  still  continue  restive,  Hydrabad  will  be  in- 
vested, and,  consequently,  laid  siege  to  in  due  form 
in  a  f<^w  days.  We  intend,  I  believe,  to  cross  the  river 
here,  and  not  further  up,  where  we  should  be  exposed 
to  the  fire  of  the  Beloochees,  who  muster  pretty  strong 
there.  We  are  only  waiting  for  our  gun-boats,  they  say, 
which  take  a  long  time  to  come  up,  and  move  about  the 
rate  of  two  miles  a  day,  owing  to  the  strong  current. 
The  report  to-day  is,  that  a  force  is  to  be  detached  to 
this  place  from  the  Bengal  army  at  Shikarpoor,  as  we  are 
not  strong  enough  to  invest  Hydrabad  by  ourselves, 
and  we  must  not  give  the  enemy  the  slightest  chance 
of  success,  as  the  influence  our  arms  have  must  be 
supported,  otherwise  we  may  be  deserted  by  our  na- 
tive army.  I  wish  something  had  been  definitely 
settled  by  this  time ;  but  I  must  not  lose  this  steamer, 
otherwise  I  might  not  have  a  chance  of  writing  again. 
The  overland  sails  on  the  21st  proximo:  I  hope  this 
will  reach  you  safe.  Tell  Kitty  I  received  her  letter, 
dated  October  1st,  while  at  Tatta,  and  cannot  tell  how 
it  was  that  she  did  not  receive  any  from  me  for  five 
months,  as  I  wrote  in  June ;  but  several  officers  have 
heard  from  their  friends  that  their  letters  have  been 
missing  about  that  time,  and  I  am  afraid  that  a  mail 
has  been  lost.     I  do  not  think  that  the  Ameers  would 

LETTER   IV.  37 

oppose  us  of  themselves,  but  they  cannot  control  their 
army,  these  robber  Beloochees,  who  do  pretty  much 
what  they  like,  and  have  it  their  own  way  every- 
where ;  if  defeated,  they  can  easily  retreat  to  their 
mountain  hold,  the  Lukke  mountains,  separating  Be- 
loochistan  from  Sinde.  With  best  love  to  all  at  home, 
and  with  every  hope  that  they  may  escape  the  chances 
and  perils  to  which  we  poor  soldiers  are  exposed. 

Believe  me,  ever  your  most  affectionate  son, 




Camp  Kotree,  four  miles  from  Hydrabad, 
February  6  th,  1839. 

My  dear  Father, — I  wrote  to  you  a  few  days 
ago  from  Jarruk,  informing  you  of  the  melancholy 
fate  of  three  of  my  brother  officers;  but  having  re- 
ceived your  letter  since,  dated  Nov.  20th,  containing 
the  bill  for  670  rupees  (or  70Z.),  and  informing  me  of 
the  news  of  Kate's  intended  marriage,  I  could  not  let 
slip  an  opportunity  which  has  just  occurred,  by  our 
having  got  possession  of  Curachee,  of  writing  to  Kitty, 
and  also,  at  the  same  time,  of  informing  you  of  what 
has  occurred  since.  You  will  receive  this  at  the  same 
time  as  you  do  the  other,  since  it  will  arrive  at  Bom- 
bay in  time  to  go  by  the  same  overland  mail. 

I  wrote  to  you  on  the  31st;  and  on  Sunday,  the  3rd 
of  February,  we  marched  out  of  Jarruk  for  this  place ; 
we  made  a  two  days'  march  of  it,  both  very  disgust- 
ing ;  horrible,  or  rather  no  roads  at  all ;  nothing  but 
dust  and  sand  under  our  feet,  which  the  wind  blew 

LETTER   V.  39 

into  our  eyes  every  minute ;  add  to  whicli,  small  halts 
every  five  minutes,  on  account  of  the  artillery  in  our 
front,  w^ho  could  not  get  on  through  the  badness  of 
the  way:  this  perpetual  halting  is  the  most  vrearisome 
thing  possible  to  a  soldier  w^hen  once  fairly  under 
weigh.  Well ;  we  arrived  here  on  the  day  before  yes- 
day;  our  front  is  now  completely  changed,  being 
towards  the  river,  and  not  turned  from  it,  or  with 
our  right  resting  on  it,  as  it  has  been  before;  our 
brigade  is  on  the  extreme  right.  Of  course,  you  know 
that  we  are  on  the  western  bank,  and  that  Hydrabad 
is  on  the  eastern,  and  therefore  the  opposite  one. 
Since  we  have  been  here,  we  have  a  little  relaxed  in 
our  discipline,  being  no  longer  under  arms  before 
daylight ;  but  reports  are  still  very  various  as  to  whe- 
ther we  are  to  have  peace  or  war  with  the  Ameers, 
and  whether  we  shall  eventually  have  to  sack  Hydra- 
bad  or  not.  A  deputation  from  thence  came  over 
yesterday  to  Sir  J.  Keane.  It  appears  that  the 
Ameers  will  agree  to  our  treaty,  but  demur  about  the 
money  which  that  treaty  obliges  them  to  pay.  As 
far  as  I  can  learn,  though  I  do  not  advise  you  to  put 
much  reliance  on  it,  as  I  may  very  likely  be  wrong,  this 
seems  to  be  the  case.  It  appears  that  the  Ameers 
have  long  owed  our  ally,  whom  we  are  going  to  place 
on  the  throne  of  Cabool,  Shah  Shooja,  twenty  lacs 
of  rupees  ;  that  on  our  declaring  war  they  agreed  to 
pay  this  sum,  with  Shah  Shooja's  consent,  to  our  go- 
vernment to  meet  the  expenses  of  the  war,  and  to 

40  CAMPAIGN    OF    THE    INDUS. 

give  us  a  passage  through  their  country  to  Shikar- 
poor.  However,  from  our  first  landing  in  their  coun- 
try they  have  played  a  most  underhand  game,  and 
endeavoured  to  throw  every  indirect  obstacle  in  our 
way,  behaving  friendly  to  our  faces,  but  behind  our 
backs  giving  very  different  directions  to  their  satel- 
lites :  this  was  found  out  by  means  of  intercepted 
letters,  particularly  at  our  last  halt  at  Jarruk.  The 
conduct  of  our  party  may  not  be  considered  of  quite 
the  fairest  nature,  as  we  are  establishing  posts  in  their 
country  by  way  of  communication,  and  reserves  at 
three  or  four  different  places.  This  was,  no  doubt, 
part  of  the  original  plan  that  sent  us  here,  as  these 
posts  are  to  be  strongly  fortified,  consisting,  it  is  sup- 
posed, of  Shikarpoor,  Schwun,  Tatta,  and  Curachee, 
and  are  to  be  the  posts  of  defence  on  our  north-west 
frontiers  against  any  incursions  from  our  northern 
neighbours,  particularly  Russia.  The  Ameers  are 
particularly  indignant  at  this,  as  I  am  told  it  did  not 
form  part  of  the  original  treaty,  and  they  see  in  it,  no 
doubt  with  justice,  a  prelude  to  our  final  possession  of 
their  country.  Pottinger,  the  political  agent,  had 
collected,  before  he  left  Hydrabad,  grain  for  the  army 
to  the  value  of  three  lacs  of  rupees ;  this,  it  is  now 
found  out,  has  either  been  taken  away  or  destroyed, 
and  Sir  J.  Keane  immediately  added  it  to  the  other 
twenty  lacs  contained  in  the  treaty.  The  Ameers 
say  they  will  pay  half  the  whole  sum  demanded  here, 
and  the  remaining  half  on  our  arrival  at  Shikarpoor. 

LETTER   V.  41 

This  Sir  J.  Keane  has  refused,  and  told  them  he  will 
not  leave  this  or  Hjdrabad  till  he  gets  every  fraction. 

We  yesterday  received  news  which  must,  I  should 
think,  have  an  effect  on  the  Ameers  one  way  or  the 
other.  The  admiral  on  this  station,  Sir  F.  Maitland, 
brought  up  in  his  74  (I  think  the  Wellesley)  H.  M. 
40th  regiment,  from  Mandivie,  in  Cutch,  to  Curachee, 
a  fort  on  the  westernmost  branch  of  the  Indus.  On 
approaching  the  fort,  the  Beloochees  who  garrisoned 
it,  taking  it  for  a  common  free-trader,  had  the  foolish 
presumption  to  fire  into  her ;  the  admiral  wore  his 
vessel  round,  just  gave  one  broadside,  down  came 
their  fort  in  one  second  about  their  ears, — you  may 
guess  how  it  astonished  them :  they  sent  word  to  say 
that  the  English  fire  a  lac  of  shot  in  one  second.  They 
say  the  Ameers  were  one  year  in  taking  this  place, 
which  cost  the  English  one  second.  I  think  myself 
that  we  shall  not  have  any  fighting  here,  and  that 
Hydrabad  will  still  remain  in  the  hands  of  the 

The  report  to-day  is,  that  we  cross  the  river  to- 
morrow ;  if  so,  I  suppose  with  hostile  intentions,  or  at 
least  for  intimidation ;  but  this  I  hardly  believe.  Sir 
J.  Keane,  they  say,  refused  to  receive  the  deputation 
from  the  Ameers  yesterday.  Should  the  thing  be 
settled  peaceably,  we  shall  immediately  march  for 
Shikarpoor,  and  thence  most  likely  on  Canda- 
har,  a  new  climate.  It  has  been  getting  gradually 
hotter  here ;  and  in  the  hot  season  Sinde  is  dreadful. 


At  Shikarpoor  we  meet  a  part,  if  not  the  whole,  of  the 
Bengal  force,  and  Shah  Shooja,  with  his  and  Runjet 
Sing's  contingent,  is  also  there.  Runjet  himself  is 
very  ill :  part  of  the  agreement  between  him  and  us 
was,  that  we  should  preserve  the  throne  to  his  son  on 
his  demise.  He  was  excessively  civil  to  Lord  Auck- 
land, and  all  the  English  who  have  been  at  Lahore. 
Sir  H.  Fane,  they  say,  still  proceeds  with  the  Bengal 
army.  The  drummer  is  here  waiting  for  my  letter,  as 
it  is  very  late  for  the  post,  so,  in  haste,  good  bye. 
Love,  &c.,  and  believe  me  ever. 

Your  most  affectionate  son, 


P.S.  Jephson  is  post-master  to  the  force. 



Camp,  near  Larkhanu, 
Wednesday,  6th  March,  1839. 

My  dear  Father, — I  last  wrote  to  you  from 
Kotree,  opposite  Hydrabad.  We  are  now,  as  you 
will  see  by  the  date,  at  Larkhanu,  a  pretty  consider- 
able distance  from  the  former  place.  I  see,  by  my 
journal,  that  it  was  the  6th  of  February  when  I  last 
wrote,  exactly  one  month  ago.  We  were  then,  I  be- 
lieve, rather  ignorant  of  what  the  Ameers  intended  ; 
but  the  fate  of  Curachee,  of  which  I  gave  you  an  ac- 
count, brought  them  to  their  senses,  and  the  day 
after  I  wrote  things  were  settled,  and  officers  had  per- 
mission to  visit  Hydrabad,  merely  reporting  their 
names  to  their  respective  majors  of  brigade  before 
they  did  so.  In  consequence  of  which  I  went  over 
to  that  place  on  the  9th,  with  Dickenson  and  Piercy  ; 
but  there  was  not  much  to  repay  us  for  our  ride,  under 
a  cruelly  hot  sun,  as  the  fort,  the  only  place  w^orth 
seeing,  was  shut  up,  and  no  one  could  get  a  view  of 


44  CAMPAIGN    OF    THE    INDUS. 

the  inside  except  a  few  of  the  staff.  It  did  not  ap- 
pear to  be  very  strong,  although  it  had  a  pretty  ap- 
pearance. I  think  the  Ameers  acted  very  wisely,  as 
it  could  easily  be  taken  by  escalade.  The  rest  of  the 
town  consisted  of  a  great  straggling  bazaar,  just  the 
same  as  is  to  be  seen  everywhere  in  India ;  and  it  did 
not  appear  a  bit  better  than  that  at  Belgaum.  There 
were  some  fine  elephants  belonging  to  the  Ameers, 
and  some  pretty  ruins  on  the  outskirts  of  the  town. 
The  Beloochees  had  all  left,  and  were  nowhere  to  be 

Sunday,  the  10th,  we  marched  off  our  ground  at 
Kotree,  and  reached  Lukkee  on  Saturday,  the  16th, 
after  a  six  days'  march,  most  of  them  fifteen  miles. 
Here  we  halted  four  days  to  allow  the  pioneers,  &c., 
to  make  a  road  over  the  Lukkee  Pass  for  the  ar- 
tillery. We  found  here  some  excellent  sulphur  springs 
and  baths,  about  a  mile  from  our  encampment,  among 
the  Lukkee  hills,  which,  if  they  could  be  transported 
to  Dartmouth,  would  make  a  second  Bath  of  it.  The 
whole  of  our  force  were  bidetizing  here  all  day  long. 
Being  so  directly  under  the  hills,  we  found  it  rather 
warmer  than  we  liked.  There  were  some  large  lakes 
here,  full  of  wild  duck,  and  capital  partridge-shooting, 
and  we  were  cracking  away  all  the  time.  On  the  march 
to  this  place  I  had  the  misfortune  to  lose  a  very  nice 
little  bull-terrier  bitch,  about  a  year  old,  which  I  had 
from  a  pup,  at  Belgaum,  and  which  had  followed  my 
fortunes  so  far.     It  was  all  her  own  fault,  as  she  broke 

LETTER   VI.  45 

from  my  tent  one  night,  and  though  I  used  every  en- 
deavour I  could  hear  nothing  more  of  her. 

The  21st  we  marched  over  the  Pass  to  Schwun, 
the  largest  place  in  Sinde  next  to  Tatta.  The  Pass 
vras  not  half  so  bad  as  we  expected,  so  we  filed  over  it 
very  easily.  On  our  arrival  at  Schwun  v^^e  heard 
that  Sir  H.  Fane  had  just  passed  down  the  river,  with 
his  staff,  en  route  for  Bombay,  and  was  laying  at 
anchor  about  five  miles  down  the  river,  where  Sir  J, 
Keane  went  to  meet  him ;  so  that  here  ended  my  last 
chance  of  meeting  Col.  Fane,  and  giving  him  Arthur's 
letter.  Sir  H.  Fane  will  remain  at  Bombay,  which  is 
to  be  the  head  quarters  of  the  Indian  army  while  this 
business  lasts.  We  only  halted  one  day  at  Schwun ;  I 
rode  in  to  look  at  the  town,  which  was  nearly  deso- 
late, as  the  inhabitants  of  every  place  invariably  re- 
move with  their  families  on  our  arrival.  There  was, 
however,  a  fine  old  castle  in  ruins,  which  was  well 
worth  seeing,  and  must  have  been  a  place  of  some  im- 
portance in  former  days ;  and  a  very  superb  mosque 
in  the  centre  of  the  town,  in  which  was  a  tame  tiger. 
We  left  Schwun  on  Saturday,  the  23rd,  crossing  the 
Arrul  river,  which  flows  round  the  town  into  the 
Indus,  on  pontoons,  and  commenced  our  first  march 
in  Upper  Sinde.  This  day's  march  was  delightful,  and 
the  only  tolerable  one  we  have  had,  all  the  rest  be- 
ing through  a  dismal,  dusty  desert,  with  sometimes  no 
path  at  all,  and  the  dust  generally  so  thick  in  march- 
ing that  you  cannot  see  an  inch  before  you.     This 

D  2 

46  CAMPAIGN    OF    THE    INDUS. 

was,  however,  a  grand  exception.  We  marched  by 
the  side  of  a  magnificent  lake,  full  of  wild  fowl,  the 
banks  of  which  were  carpeted  with  rich  wild  clover, 
and  over-shadowed  with  fine  trees,  the  only  ones  of  any 
size  that  we  have  yet  seen  in  Sinde ;  so  that  you  might 
almost  fancy  you  were  going  through  a  nobleman's 
park  in  England  (Kitly,  par  example.)  In  fact,  this 
place  put  me  more  in  mind  of  Old  England  than  any  I 
have  seen  in  the  East.  From  Schwun  we  marched 
direct  to  this  place,  which  we  reached  on  the  4th,  the 
day  before  yesterday,  without  halting  once  :  most  of 
the  marches  fifteen  miles,  and  all  terrible  teasers,  on 
account  of  the  badness  of  the  roads,  and  the  stupidity 
or  wilful  ignorance  of  our  guides.  One  of  our  marches 
was  to  have  been  a  short  one  of  ten  miles ;  but  for 
some  unaccountable  reasons  our  route  and  encamping 
ground  were  changed  three  times.  We  lost  our  way 
in  the  jungle,  and  marched  fifteen,  instead  of  ten, 
miles  before  we  found  ourselves  in  our  proper  places  ; 
on  arrival  at  which  we  found  that  half  the  officers' 
and  men's  baggage  was  gone  on  to  our  next  en- 
camping ground,  fifteen  miles  further,  which, 
owing  to  the  variety  of  places  named  in  orders,  our 
servants  supposed  to  be  the  right  one.  My  baggage 
was  one  of  the  unlucky ;  but  my  servant  came  back 
with  my  things  about  five  o'clock  in  the  evening; 
so  that  my  poor  camels  must  have  gone  nearly  forty 
"miles  that  day,  with  a  prospect  of  another  fifteen  the 
next  morning  at  five.     General  Willshire,  and,  I  hear, 

LETTER   VI.  47 

Sir  J.  Keane  also,  were  among  the  sufferers.  Our 
poor  sick  were  all  lost  in  the  jungles  for  this  day,  and 
we  saw  nothing  of  half  of  them  till  we  arrived  on  our 
next  encamping  ground.  Some  of  them  were  up- 
wards of  twenty-four  hours  without  getting  anything 
to  eat,  or  attendance  of  any  sort.  Well,  we  marched 
to  this  place  on  the  day  before  yesterday,  after  ten 
days'  regular  hard  work.  A  great  number  in  hospital ; 
though  they  are  coming  out  again  now  pretty  fast. 

It  is  believed  we  shall  halt  here  about  a  week ;  but 
what  we  shall  do  then  nobody  seems  to  know.  The 
greater  part  of  the  force  will,  it  is  believed,  follow  the 
Bengalees  to  Candahar,  who  marched  from  Shikar- 
poor  for  that  purpose,  under  Sir  Willoughby  Cotton, 
on  the  22nd,  but  have  since  been  detained,  owing  to 
the  impracticability  of  the  country.  One  regiment  of 
our  brigade  (the  Grenadier  regiment,  Native  Infantry) 
is  under  orders  for  Bukkur,  an  island  fort  on  the 
Indus,  about  twenty-five  miles  from  Shikarpoor,  which 
(i.  e.,  Bukkur)  is  to  be  our  depot  for  stores,  &c.,  and 
where  all  the  present  unfits,  in  the  shape  of  sick  men, 
are  to  be  sent.  No  doubt  some  other  troops  will  be 
left  in  Upper  Sinde,  at  different  places,  and  I  have 
some  fears  that  the  "  Queen's"  may  be  among  the 
number.  Heaven  defend  us  from  being  quartered  in 
any  part  of  this  wretched  country,  particularly  fi:om 
Shikarpoor,  which  is  said  to  be  one  of  the  hottest 
places    in    existence.     In    fact,    the    Persians    say. 

48  CAMPAIGN    OF    THE    INDUS. 

''  While  there  is  a  Shikarpoor,  there  ought  to  be  no 
Johannum,"  or  hell.  What  a  pity  it  would  be  to  lose 
such  a  capital  chance  of  seeing  Candahar,  and  per- 
haps Cabool,  which  is  said  to  be  a  splendid  place  and 
a  delightful  climate.  The  Bolan  Pass,  a  most  magni- 
ficent and  difficult  one,  the  key  to  Afghanistan  from 
Sinde,  is  said  to  be  now  totally  impassable,  from  the 
number  of  dead  cattle,  horses,  and  camels,  which 
Shah  Shooja's  force  lost  there.  This  I  believe,  how- 
ever, to  be  mere  report.  We  heard,  the  other  day, 
that  Dost  Mahomed  had  occupied  it,  and  that  we 
should  have  to  take  it  at  the  point  of  the  bayonet.  So 
much  do  reports  vary,  one  knows  not  what  to  believe. 
This  pass,  said  to  be  thirty  miles  long,  and  at  some 
places  almost  impassable,  runs  through  and  over  the 
large  chain  of  mountains  that  separates  the  mountainous 
country  of  Candahar  and  Cabool,  or,  as  it  is  generally 
called,  Afghanistan,  from  the  lowland  of  Sinde  ;  it  is 
not  easy  to  cross  it,  at  least  before  April,  as  till  then 
the  snows  are  not  melted. 

I  hope  and  trust  my  next  letter  will  be  dated 
from  Candahar,  which  is,  however,  a  good  six 
weeks'  niarch  from  this  place.  We  have  found  the 
weather  dreadfully  hot  for  the  last  few  days,  averaging 
generally  106  in  our  tents  in  the  day  time,  though 
the  nights  are  cool,  and  the  mornings  generally  very 
cold.  I  have  not  yet  been  in  Larkhanu,  though  we 
marched  through  a  part  of  it  on  our  arrival.     Our 

LETTER    VI.  49 

men  have  been  now  for  three  days  without  any  dram 
at  all,  and  their  rations  are  getting  worse  and  worse 
every  day ;  in  fact,  things  are  so  bad  that  they  have 
been  obliged  to  send  to  Shikarpoor  for  part  of  what 
was  left  there  by  the  Bengal  commissariat,  which  is  said 
to  be  excellent,  and  which  has  fed  their  army  very 
well,  although  they  have  come  a  much  greater  dis- 
tance than  we  have. 

I  spoke  to  our  paymaster  about  my  bill,  and  he  has 
shewn  it  to  the  paymaster-general,  who  says  he  will 
cash  it  whenever  I  like,  but  that  I  must  take  it  in  a 
lump  ;  he  will  not  give  it  me  by  instalments.  This  is 
a  great  nuisance,  as  it  is  very  hazardous  taking  so 
much  money  about  with  one ;  the  money,  too,  takes  up 
a  great  deal  of  room  and  is  very  heavy;  it  was,  how- 
ever, quite  a  god-send,  as  I  had  no  idea  how  very 
expensive  this  march  would  turn  out ;  grain  for  cattle 
being  exceedingly  dear,  the  natives  raising  the  price 
to  about  500  per  cent,  everywhere,  thanks  to  bad 
management  somewhere.  At  Tatta  each  officer  re- 
ceived a  month's  pay  in  advance,  that  he  might  pur- 
chase cattle  for  his  baggage.  This  is  to  be  deducted 
by  three  instalments,  one  from  each  of  the  next  three 
issues  of  pay.  An  ensign's  pay  for  one  month  will  hardly 
purchase  sufficient  conveyances.  The  only  mode  in 
this  country  is  by  camels,  and  a  camel  is  of  all  ani- 
mals the  most  treacherous,  or  rather  precarious  lived ; 
they  get  ill  suddenly  and  go  off  in  three   hours :  a 

50  CAMPAIGN    OF    THE    INDUS. 

great  number  have  died  with  us.  Now  an  officer  losing 
his  camels  loses  one  month's  pay,  and  must  leave  his 
kit  on  the  ground,  as  he  has  nothing  wherewith  to 
replace  his  loss.  You  can,  therefore,  imagine  what 
a  great  relief  your  bill  proved  to  me,  as  I  shall 
always  have  it  to  fall  back  upon.  I  bought  a  very 
nice  little  Cabool  horse  at  Kotree,  from  one  of  the 
Ameers'  disbanded  Beloochees.  He  is  very  hardy, 
and  accustomed  to  this  country,  and  not  particular 
as  to  his  food,  which  is  a  capital  thing,  as  most  of  the 
Arab  horses  that  have  been  brought  from  India  have 
fallen  off  terribly.  He  is  a  very  pretty  figure,  goes 
well,  and  leaps  capitally,  which  few  of  the  Arabs  can. 
I  gave  170  rupees  for  him,  or  17Z.  In  India,  I  am 
confident  he  would  fetch  500  or  600  rupees  (50/.  or 

I  am  very  doubtful  as  to  the  time  when  this 
letter  may  reach  you ;  I  hope  it  may  catch  the  over- 
land mail  on  the  25th ;  but  Jephson  says  it  is  very 
doubtful,  and  will  depend  entirely  on  the  chance  of 
there  being  a  ship  at  Curachee,  or  off  the  Hujamree. 
The  heat  now,  while  I  am  writing,  is  dreadful,  and 
there  is  a  beastly  hot  wind  blowing  which  I  never 
felt  before.  Heaven  send  us  soon  out  of  Sinde  !  We 
are  expecting  the  overland  mail  from  England  every 
day ;  it  generally  manages  to  come  two  days  after 
I  write  home.  You  will  by  this  time  have  re- 
ceived the  letter  I  wrote  from  the  Syden,  and  the  one 

LETTER   VI.  51 

I  wrote  to  Kate  about  the  13th  of  December  from 
Bominacote.  Reports  vary  much  as  to  whether  we 
shall  have  any  fighting  if  we  advance  into  Candahar. 
I  should  think  Dost  Mahomed  would  like  to  try  a 
brush  with  us,  at  least  with  Shah  Shooja. 

With  love  to  all  at  home. 

Believe  me  your  affectionate  son, 


D   3 

52  CAMPAIGN    OF    THE    INDUS. 


Gamp,  Candahar,  June  8th,  1839. 

My  dear  Father, — I  begin  this  letter  to  you  on 
the  8th  of  June,  1839,  though  when  it  will  reach  you, 
or  whether  it  ever  will,  is  very  doubtful.  I  have  not 
written,  I  see,  since  the  beginning  of  March,  from 
Larkhanu ;  there  was,  however,  very  little  use  in  so 
doing,  as  there  was  very  little  chance  of  your  ever  get- 
ting it,  our  friends  the  Beloochees,  Kaukers,  &c., 
having  made  free  with  nearly  every  mail,  and  destroyed 
them,  I  am  very  much  afraid  that  I  also  have  been  a 
sufferer  by  them,  and  that  you  must  have  written  to  me 
long  ere  this,  but  that  our  friends  of  the  Bolan  Pass 
have  made  use  of  the  letter  to  wrap  their  cabobs  in. 
I  have  not  heard  from  you  or  from  home  at  all  since 
the  2nd  of  February,  when  I  got  your  letter,  dated 
November  20th,  enclosing  the  bill  on  government, 
and  informing  me  of  Kate's  intended  marriage.  I 
have,  however,  long  since  this  heard  of  my  lieutenancy. 

LETTER    VII.  53 

and  seen  my  name  in  the  "  Gazette,"  but  have  not 
yet  received  the  confirmation  of  it  from  Sir  H.  Fane 
in  this  country,  so  that  I  have  been  fighting  my  way, 
and  am  likely  to  continue  so,  on  the  rank  and  pay  of 
a  full  ensign ;  however,  there  will  be  so  much  the 
more  back  pay  to  receive  when  it  does  come ;  it  is  a 
great  nuisance,  however,  not  having  it,  as  I  require  it 
so  much  in  this  country.  You  can  form  no  conception 
of  the  hopeless  expense  which  we  have  inevitably  been 
obliged  to  incur.  We  have  had  a  tolerable  share  of 
hardships,  &c.,  and  the  poor  marching  soldiers  have 
suffered  terribly.  What  do  you  think  of  our  having 
made  a  forced  march  of  thirty  to  forty  miles,  for  six 
hours  of  it  under  the  hottest  sun  I  can  recollect,  and 
I  have  felt  a  few  of  them  in  India  ?  Since  we  left 
Larkhanu  we  have  met  with  little  but  a  series  of 
robberies,  murders,  alarms,  and  skirmishes ;  in  short, 
everything  but  an  actual  stand-up  fight,  which  we 
were  all  anxious  for,  as  it  would  settle  matters  at  once, 
and  free  us  from  the  predatory  attacks  and  cold- 
blooded murders  of  these  barbarous  tribes. 

To  begin  from  where  I  left  off:  we  marched  from 
Larkhanu  on  the  11th  March,  and  reached  Dadur, 
about  four  miles  from  the  entrance  to  the  Bolan  Pass, 
the  nest  of  the  robber  hordes  of  Kaukers,  Tuckers, 
and  Beloochees,  on  the  6th  of  April,  having  halted 
several  times  at  intermediate  places,  and  made  some 
terrible  marches,  fifteen  miles  being  the  average  dis- 
tance.    We  often  lost  our  way,  and  marched  thereb}^ 

54  CAMPAIGN    OF    THE    INDUS. 

a  great  deal  further  than  was  necessary,  through  bad 
guidance.  I  must  tell  you,  however,  that  before 
leaving  Larkhanu,  Sir  J.  Keane  assumed  the  com- 
mand of  the  whole  army,  both  Bengal  and  Bombay, 
by  which  General  Willshire  got  command  of  the 
Bombay  division.  The  two  Bombay  brigades  were 
broken  up,  the  Grenadiers  and  5th  regiment  of  Native 
Infantry  were  sent  to  garrison  Bukkur,  a  tolerably 
strong  fort  on  the  Indus,  and  the  23rd  Native  Infantry 
was  sent  to  Lukkur,  a  town  on  the  opposite  side. 
There  also  the  different  regiments  that  were  to  go  on 
sent  their  sick,  and  Bukkur  was  made  a  depot  for 
supplies,  medical  stores,  &c.  The  greater  part  of 
the  foot  and  some  of  the  horse  artillery  were  sent 
there  also.  Our  regiment  and  the  17  th  were  then 
made  into  one  brigade,  and  marched  from  Larkhanu, 
as  I  said  before,  on  the  11th.  The  cavalry  and  horse 
artillery,  &c.,  did  not  march  for  two  days  after,  with 
the  Commander-in-chief,  who  took  with  him  his  pet 
corps,  the  19th  Native  Infantry.  They  marched  b}^  a 
different  route  from  ourselves  on  account  of  the 
scarcity  of  supplies  in  that  desert  country ;  we  halted 
for  them  at  Kochee,  which  place  we  reached  on  the 
15th  about  3  p.  m.,  after  the  thirty  to  forty  miles' 
march  I  before  told  you  of,  across  the  marshy  desert 
which  seems  to  divide  Sinde  from  Cutch  Gundava. 
This  march  ought  only  to  have  been  twenty-six  miles  ; 
but  owing  to  the  stupidity  of  our  guide  we  went  a 
longer  and  more  circuitous  route,  and  also  had  the 

LETTER   VII.  55 

pleasure  of  losing  our  way  during  the  night ;  in  ad- 
dition to  which,  on  arriving  at  the  village  where  it  was 
intended  to  halt,  our  staff  found  out,  all  of  a  sudden, 
that  there  was  not  a  sufficiency  of  water  for  the  whole 
force,  in  consequence  of  which  we  were  moved  to  an- 
other village  (Kichee)  five  miles  further  on. 

It  was  during  this  march  that  I  first  witnessed 
the  effects  of  extreme  thirst  on  men,  however  well 
disciplined.  It  was,  as  I  have  said  before,  the  hottest 
day  I  ever  felt ;  not  a  breath  of  air,  and  the  sun 
enough  to  knock  you  down.  The  men  were  suffer- 
ing dreadfully,  and  falling  out  by  sections,  when 
about  eleven  or  twelve  o'clock  they  caught  sight  of 
some  water  carriers  with  their  mussacks  full,  so  that 
they  knew  water  could  not  be  far  off.  All  discipline 
was  pitched  to  the  devil  in  an  instant,  and  the  men 
rushed  from  the  ranks  for  the  water  more  like  mad 
devils  than  anything  else — nothing  could  stop  them; 
the  mounted  officers  galloped  in  amongst  them,  and 
threatened,  but  to  no  purpose ;  nothing  short  of  cut- 
ting them  down  would  have  stopped  any  of  them. 
In  the  midst  of  this.  General  Willshire,  at  the  head 
of  the  brigade,  hearing  a  row  and  looking  round, 
saw  the  greater  part  of  the  17th  (they  being  in  front  on 
this  day)  scampering  across  the  country  like  a  pack  of 
hounds ;  not  knowing  what  was  the  matter,  he  galloped 
up  to  the  colonel  and  demanded  an  explanation,  when, 
seeing  what  was  the  cause,  he  made  the  best  of  it, 
called  a  halt,  and  every  one  immediately  rushed  to  the 

56  CAMPAIGN    OF    THE    INDUS. 

wellsj  the  scenes  at  which  were  most  ridiculous,  fight- 
ing, pushing,  knocking  down,  &c.  I  saw  one  man 
actually  lie  down  and  wallow  in  a  filthy  ditch  full  of 
every  description  of  dirt  imaginable.  We  halted  here 
about  two  hours,  and  then  marched  to  our  ground, 
about  six  or  seven  miles  further  on,  the  men  perform- 
ing this  latter  part  of  the  march  with  great  cheerful- 
ness. We  halted  here  two  days  to  rest  the  men,  and 
were  joined  by  the  rest  of  the  Bombay  force,  with 
the  Commander-in-chief 

We  marched  again  on  the  18  th,  another  night 
march  about  twenty  miles.  Here  we  made  another 
halt  for  three  days,  while  some  of  the  staff  went  on  to 
get  information  of  the  country  a-head,  about  which 
they  were  ignorant.  All  the  villages  we  had  passed 
through  were  deserted,  and  in  some  places  the  water 
was  stinking.  We  looked  back  upon  Sinde  as  a  para- 
dise compared  to  the  country  we  were  now  in. 
All  the  little  grain  that  was  supplied  to  the  bazaars  by 
the  commissariat  was  sold  at  the  most  exorbitant  price, 
yet  we  were  obliged  to  buy  it,  and  as  much  as  we 
could  get  of  it  too,  and  lucky  we  thought  ourselves  to 
get  any  of  it,  even  at  this  rate,  at  times,  in  order  to 
feed  our  horses  and  camels,  which  were  beginning  to 
knock  up  terribly.  We  could  not  now,  as  we  used  to 
do  in  Sinde,  send  the  latter  into  the  jungle  to  feed 
on  the  small  brushwood,  of  which  they  were  so  fond, 
except  at  the  risk  of  being  robbed  of  them,  and 
having  the  servants  who  looked  after  them  murdered 


by  the  bands  of  Beloochees  who  hovered  about  us  in 
every  direction.  Still,  notwithstanding  these  annoy- 
ances, the  humbugging  system  of  conciliation  was 
kept  up,  and  although  there  was  not  an  inhabitant  to 
be  seen,  we  were  robbed  to  our  faces  very  nearly; 
yet  if  a  poor  sub.'s  horse  or  camel  happened  to  break 
his  ropes  and  strayed  into  a  field  he  was  immediately 
pounced  upon  by  a  provost-marshal  and  put  into  a 
sort  of  pound,  from  which  he  was  not  released  except 
on  the  payment  of  a  certain  sum  to  be  given  to  the 
owners  of  the  field !  Where  were  they  to  be  found  ? 
The  loss  of  camels  now  was  irreparable  ;  even  if  there 
were  any  to  be  sold,  the  prices  asked  were  so  exorbi- 
tant that  few  of  us  youngsters,  hampered  as  we  were, 
could  afford  to  purchase ;  loss  of  camels  produced  loss 
of  kit,  loss  of  kit  produced  loss  of  health,  &c.  Yet 
during  the  whole  of  this  march  we  were  losing  camels 
through  robberies  and  fatigue,  and  no  measures  taken 
that  we  ever  heard  of  to  put  a  stop  to  it.  We  marched 
from  this  place  on  the  22nd,  and  came  to  a  halt  again  at 
a  place  called  Kotrie,  close  under  the  Hala  mountains, 
about  five  miles  from  the  Gundava  Pass.  Here  we 
(i.  e.,  our  brigade  and  the  4th  Light  Dragoons)  halted 
for  a  week.  Sir  J.  Keane  pushed  on  a-head  with  two 
troops  of  Light  Cavalry  and  the  left  wing  of  the  19th 
Native  Infantry,  in  order  to  catch  up  Sir  Willoughby 
Cotton,  who  was  marching  in  command  of  the  main 
body  of  the  Bengal  division.  General  Willshire,  with 
the  staff,  artillery,    and   cavalry,    was   at    Gundava, 


about  eight  miles  from  us.  At  this  place,  Kotrie, 
which  the  inhabitants  luckily  had  not  deserted,  we 
were  better  off  in  point  of  supplies  than  we  had  been 
since  we  left  Larkhanu,  and  there  was  plenty  of 
shooting  and  fishing;  but  it  was  without  exception 
the  hottest  place  I  ever  was  in.  Being  close  under  a 
high  range  of  mountains,  we  were  perfectly  screened 
from  any  cool  breezes  that  might  take  it  into  their 
heads  to  blow  from  that  quarter ;  add  to  this,  the  hills 
themselves,  being  composed  of  granite,  or  some  stone 
of  that  description,  attracted  the  sun,  and  reflected  the 
heat  back  again  on  us,  so  that  we  were  attacked  from 
two  sides  at  once.  By  this  time  we  had  no  stronger 
liquor  with  us  than  tea,  so  that  we  were  perfectly  eli- 
gible to  become  members  of  the  Tea-total  Temperance 
Society ;  our  supplies  in  the  liquor  line,  which  we  had 
sent  on  from  Hydrabad  to  Larkhanu  by  water,  not  hav- 
ing reached  the  latter  place  in  time  for  us  to  get  them. 
In  this  respect  the  men  were  better  off  than  ourselves, 
they  having  their  dram  or  two  every  day.  Here  the 
robbers  began  to  be  more  bold,  and  we  did  not  lose 
sight  of  them  until  we  reached  Candahar.  Five 
mails  (one  of  them  an  "  overland,"  bringing,  perhaps, 
letters  from  you  or  some  one  at  home)  out  of  six  were 
robbed  between  this  and  Shikarpoor ;  and  news  was 
received  from  Sir  J.  Keane  in  advance  that  at  the 
entrance  of  the  Bolan  Pass  several  bodies  of  sepoys 
of  Shah  Shooja's  army  were  lying,  there  having  been  a 
grand  skrimmage  there  between  the  sepoys  and  Beloo- 

LETTER   VII.  59 

chees,  in  which  the  former,  being  caught  napping^ 
were  worsted.  We  stayed  at  this  place,  as  I  said  be- 
fore, a  week,  and  started  again  on  the  31st. 

On  the  morning  of  the  2nd  of  April,  during  a 
severe  march  of  twenty- two  miles,  one  of  our  men,  a 
straggler,  who  had  fallen  to  the  rear  with  dysentery, 
was  murdered  by  these  robbers,  and  another  man  of 
the  17  th  cruelly  wounded,  but  he  has  since  recovered. 
They  were  sitting  together  by  the  side  of  the  road, 
when  of  a  sudden  a  party  of  Beloochees  rushed  out 
from  some  low  bushes,  and,  before  either  had  time  to 
rise,  fired  into  them.  Adams,  of  the  Queen's,  re- 
ceived a  ball  on  the  outside  of  his  right  thigh,  passing 
down,  and  coming  out  at  his  knee  on  the  other  side, 
and  cutting  some  particular  vein  or  artery,  which  oc- 
casioned his  death  through  loss  of  blood.  The  17th 
man  was  hit  on  the  right  side,  the  ball  coasting  round 
his  body,  and  coming  out  at  the  other  side,  without 
touching  his  tripes  or  any  vital  part.  Adams  had  not 
his  firelock  with  him,  but  the  17  th  man  had  his,  but 
unloaded,  and,  in  his  struggles  to  keep  possession  of 
it,  received  some  desperate  sabre  cuts ;  but  he  has 
since  recovered.  Of  course  he  was  soon  overpowered, 
as  Adams  could  give  no  assistance.  The  Beloochees 
then  stripped  them  of  everything,  except  their  shirt 
and  trowsers,  and  left  them  to  their  fate,  till  another 
man  of  the  17th  came  up,  in  charge  of  some  of  his 
company's  camels,  who  brought  in  the  news  to  camp  ; 
but  the  apothecary  who  went  out  was  too  late  to  save 

60  CAMPAIGN    OF    THE    INDUS. 

poor  Adams.  It  was  gratifying  to  know  that  Cun- 
ningham, with  a  party  of  his  horse,  having  received 
intelhgence  that  a  party  of  these  blackguards  were  en- 
camped in  a  jungle,  beat  through  it,  and  followed 
their  tracks  for  fourteen  miles,  when  he  came  upon 
them,  and  killed  six  and  took  four  prisoners ;  Cun- 
ningham having  outstripped  his  party,  killed  two  men 
himself  and  took  another  prisoner.  These  rascals 
were  brought  into  camp,  and  strictly  guarded,  or  I 
believe  they  would  have  been  torn  to  pieces  by  the 
European  soldiers.  One  of  them  was  sworn  to  by  the 
wounded  17  th  man  as  being  one  of  the  murderers, 
and  we  were  all  in  great  hopes  of  seeing  the  black- 
guards dancing  the  tight  rope ;  but,  instead  of  that, 
they  were  all  brought  on  (except  one,  who  being 
badly  wounded,  died  on  the  road)  to  Dadur,  where 
they  were  given  up  to  one  of  the  political  diplomatic 
gentlemen,  who,  it  is  said,  actually  let  them  go  with 
five  rupees  to  carry  them  home.  Fancy  a  Beloochee's 
home!  This  was  carrying  the  conciliation  principle 
far  with  a  vengeance ! 

We  started  again  at  half-past  twelve,  on  the  night 
of  the  3rd — another  night-march  of  nineteen  miles. 
Both  the  nights  we  were  at  this  place  we  were 
alarmed  by  a  supposed  attack  of  Beloochees ;  but 
they  turned  out  to  be  nothing  more  than  a  loose  horse 
or  two  of  the  dragoons,  for  which  one  of  their  camp- 
followers  suffered,  being  taken  for  a  Beloochee,  while 
running  after  one  of  the  horses,  and  therefore  cut 

LETTER   VII.  61 

down  by  a  dragoon  on  sentry.  The  night  we  left  this 
place  was  one  of  the  most  fearful  I  ever  remember ; 
it  had  been  threatening  all  the  afternoon,  and  about 
eight  the  simoom  came  on  with  dreadful  violence, 
blowing  for  five  minutes  at  a  time,  at  intervals  of 
twenty  minutes  or  so,  until  we  got  under  weigh,  at 
half-past  twelve.  The  wind,  hot  and  scorching,  like 
a  blast  from  a  furnace,  rushed  over  the  country  with 
the  violence  of  a  hurricane,  bringing  with  it  perfect 
clouds  of  dust  and  sand,  so  that  it  was  totally  impos- 
sible to  face  it,  except  at  the  risk  of  being  actually 
blinded  or  stifled.  The  baggage  was  to  have  gone  on 
before  us  at  nine  o'clock,  as  the  moon  was  expected  to 
be  up,  but  the  clouds  of  dust,  &c.,  completely  hid  her 
from  us,  and  she  did  not  shew  her  nose  the  whole 
night.  During  the  blasts  it  was  the  most  perfect 
"  darkness  visible"  that  you  can  imagine,  and  at  the  in- 
tervals when  it  ceased,  the  sensation  of  the  atmosphere 
was  more  like  standing  before  a  hot  fire  than  any- 
thing else.  I  had  read  of  these  things  before  in 
novels,  travels,  &c ;  I  now,  for  the  first  time,  expe- 
rienced the  reality.  Add  to  all  these  little  annoy- 
ances, we  w^ere  every  moment  expecting  a  rush  of 
Beloochees ;  and  if  they  had  had  the  pluck  of  a  hare, 
they  might  have  considerably  crippled  our  proceed- 
ings, by  rushing  in  and  ham-stringing  our  camels. 
The  darkness,  the  unavoidable  confusion,  the  awk- 
wardness of  the  camels  themselves,  all  favoured  them, 
and  I  expected  nothing  less ;  if  they  had  been  Cos- 

62  CAMPAIGN    OF    THE    INDUS. 

sacks  instead,  they  would  have  played  the  very  devil 
with  us  altogether.  At  length,  at  half-past  eleven, 
the  baggage  got  off,  and  now  for  the  first  time  with  a 
baggage  guard,  consisting  of  a  troop,  or  company,  from 
each  of  the  three  regiments,  together  with  all  the  ir- 
regular horse  we  possessed,  with  strict  orders  that  any 
Beloochees  shewing  themselves  at  all  near  the  baggage 
were  instantly  to  be  cut  down  or  bayoneted.  The 
main  body  followed  in  another  hour,  with  a  strong 
rear-guard,  to  pick  up  stragglers,  &c.  These  precau- 
tions ought  to  have  been  taken  before,  and  poor  Adams 
would  have  been  saved.  I  know  very  little  of  this 
march,  as  I  remember  I  slept  through  the  whole  of  it, 
until  morning,  on  horseback,  being  terribly  fatigued 
and  worn  out.  The  morning  Avas  delightfully  cool, 
with  a  fresh  bracing  breeze  from  the  north.  You  may 
well  imagine  how  we  enjoyed  it,  after  the  terrible  re- 
laxation of  the  night  before.  We  reached  our  ground 
about  seven,  at  a  place  called  Nonsherah.  Here  we 
heard  some  bloody-minded  reports  of  the  Beloochees, 
who  had  been  plundering  the  artillery  and  left  wing 
of  the  19th,  which  were  here  the  day  before.  They 
seemed,  however,  to  have  made  a  pretty  good  retalia- 
tion, and  four  Beloochees'  heads  were  stuck  upon  the 
walls  of  the  town,  in  proof  of  the  soldiers'  vengeance. 
In  consequence  of  there  being  a  good  baggage-guard, 
the  Beloochees  made  themselves  tolerably  scarce 
during  this  march,  although  the  ground  was  very  fa- 
vourable for  them.    However,  they  now  and  then  took 

LETTER   VII.  63 

long  shots  from  the  nullahs,  &c.,  that  were  near  the 
road,  but  without  doing  any  damage.  At  last,  a  sol- 
dier, from  the  baggage-guard  company  of  the  17th, 
having  occasion  to  fall  out,  and  going  into  a  nullah 
for  his  purpose,  unexpectedly  found  himself  cheek  by 
jowl  with  thirt}^  of  these  rascals.  He  was  knocked 
down,  but  bellowing  out  most  lustily,  his  section  came 
up,  and  being  joined  by  another  section  of  the 
Queen's,  they  shot  about  six  of  them  dead,  and  put 
the  rest  to  flight,  having  rescued  the  17  th  man.  The 
robbers  at  this  place  were  rather  forward,  and  actually 
walked  off  with  some  camels  that  were  out  feeding 
close  to  the  rear  of  our  encampment,  in  the  middle  of 
the  day.  They  were,  however,  all  recovered  very 
soon  by  the  Irregulars,  and  those  of  the  robbers  who 
could  not  manage  to  escape,  managed  to  get  their 
heads  broken  by  these  surwars;  and  intelligence 
having  been  received  that  a  whole  gang,  with  their 
families,  were  encamped  near  us,  a  party  of  fourteen, 
and  one  jemadar,  of  the  1st  Light  Cavalry,  were  sent 
out,  who  coming  unexpectedly  upon  them,  the  robbers 
advanced  to  shew  fight,  when  the  jemadar  gave  the 
word  to  fire,  and  each  trooper  brought  down  his  bird. 
The  rest  immediately  took  to  their  heels,  and  owing 
to  the  nature  of  the  ground  (it  was  among  the  hills) 
effected  their  escape.  The  troopers  returned  to  camp 
with  the  swords  and  shields,  &c.,  of  the  fallen.  From 
this  place  we  marched  again  the  next  morning,  and 
a  short  and  easy  march  brought  us  to  Dadur. 

64  CAMPAIGN    OF    THE    INDUS. 

June  ^Ith. — I  have  not  been  able  to  write  much 
lately,  as  it  was  literally  too  hot  to  do  so.  We  have 
had  it  from  115  to  120  in  our  tents  during  the  day ; 
for  the  last  week,  however,  it  has  been  getting  cooler, 
and  to-day  is  pleasant  enough.  T  wished  also  to  keep 
the  letter  open  as  long  as  I  could ;  but  now,  since  we 
march  on  Sunday  next,  the  30th,  I  have  not  much 
time  left,  though  I  have  a  great  deal  more  to  say.  I 
received  by  the  mail  the  confirmation  of  my  lieu- 
tenancy, by  Sir  H.  Fane,  from  Bombay.  An  "  over- 
land" arrived  again  here  last  night,  but  no  letters  or 
anything  for  me.  I  see,  by  the  English  papers,  that 
there  was  a  report  at  home  that  we  had  lost  3000 
men  already — the  greatest  lie  possible.  If  we  had 
lost  that,  we  should  have  lost  more  than  half  the  Bom- 
bay army.  We  have  not  lost  more  than  we  generally 
do  in  quarters,  though  the  men  have  been  terribly 
knocked  up,  and  well  they  may  be,  with  the  horrible 
marches  they  have  made.  I  was  very  much  amused 
by  the  debates  in  Parliament,  with  regard  to  our 
'^  military  promenade,"  as  some  of  the  papers  call  it. 
I  wish  I  could  see  some  of  their  writers  on  an  out- 
lying picket,  with  a  prospect  of  a  twenty  miles'  march, 
I  rather  think  they  would  not  talk  so  much  of  "  pro- 
menading." The  Bengal  army,  with  our  cavalry,  and 
most  of  the  artillery,  marched  this  morning  for  Cabool. 
Shah  Shooja  goes  to-morrow  or  next  day,  and  we 
bring  up  the  rear,  as  I  said  before,  on  Sunday.  How- 
ever, we  will  talk  of  that  anon,  or  I  shall  forget  where 

LETTER   VII.  65 

I  left  off.  On  looking  back,  I  find  that  I  have  brought 
the  force  up  as  far  as  Dadur.  Well ;  we  halted  there 
till  the  12  th.  The  17  th,  artillery  and  Irregular 
Horse,  however,  marched  before  us,  on  the  9th. 
While  there,  the  rascally  Beloochees  and  Kaukers 
kept  hovering  about  us,  and  walked  off  with  some 
camels  and  a  horse  or  two.  They  generally,  however, 
paid  very  dearly  for  them,  as  the  cavalry  that  were 
sent  after  them  on  these  occasions  made  a  terrible 
example  of  them. 

While  here  we  heard  of  a  shocking  murder  at 
Curachee.  A  Captain  Hand,  of  the  1st  Bombay 
Grenadier  Regiment,  was  taking  his  morning's  ride, 
when,  on  turning  a  corner  on  the  top  of  a  hill,  he 
unexpectedly  found  himself  in  the  midst  of  about 
thirty  Beloochees.  They  talked  to  him  very  civilly, 
and  he  allowed  them  to  get  round  his  horse,  not  sus- 
pecting anything,  when  one  rascal  behind  him  gave 
him  a  terrible  wipe  on  the  back  of  his  head  with  his 
sword,  which  knocked  him  off  his  horse,  and  the 
others  rushed  in,  and  cut  him  to  pieces.  A  Lieut. 
Clarke,  of  the  same  corps,  happened  to  be  riding  this 
way,  and  seeing  these  Beloochees,  asked  them  if  they 
had  seen  a  Latich  pass  that  way,  meaning  Hand ;  to 
which  they  replied  by  a  volley  from  their  matchlocks, 
a  ball  from  one  of  which  struck  Clarke  on  the  leg, 
and  he  galloped  for  camp  as  fast  as  he  could,  and  fell 
off  his  horse  exhausted  before  the  quarter-guard  of 
H.  M.  40th  regiment.       A  party  was  immediately 

66  CAMPAIGN    OF    THE    INDUS. 

sent  out,  and  they  found  the  body  of  poor  Hand 
horribly  mutilated.  A  good  number  of  these  rascals 
have  been  since  taken,  and,  I  suppose,  hanged ;  un- 
less the  conciliation  principle  lets  these  rascals  off  also. 
They  belong  to  different  bands,  under  different  robber- 
chiefs,  among  the  hills.  These  robber  Khans  have 
strongholds  on  the  almost  inaccessible  mountains  that 
run  up  the  v^hole  west  frontier  of  Sinde,  and  divide  it 
from  Beloochistan.  All  merchandize  and  travellers 
passing  through  Sinde  to  the  v^est  of  the  Indus  are 
obliged  to  pay  a  sort  of  black  mail  to  these  Khans  to 
be  allowed  to  pass  through  ;  but  so  bad  is  their  name 
for  treachery,  ferocity,  &c.,  that  few,  if  any,  of  the 
traders  between  India  and  Central  Asia  go  this 
route.  They  do  not  care  a  farthing  for  the  Ameers, 
who  also  secretly  connive  at  their  proceedings,  in 
order  to  draw  recruits  from  them  on  any  emer- 

Well ;  we  got  the  steam  up  again  on  the  12th,  and, 
together  with  the  4th  Light  Dragoons,  and  about  sixty 
Irregulars,  started  for  the  celebrated  Bolan  Pass, 
with  a  great  quantity  of  commissariat  stores  from 
Bukkur,  for  the  army  in  advance,  under  our  charge. 
This  celebrated  Pass  would  be  the  best  line  of  com- 
munication between  the  countries  of  Central  Asia  and 
Sinde ;  and  as  far  as  the  Pass  is  concerned  itself,  it  is 
quite  guiltless  of  the  bad  character  it  holds.  It  is 
merely  the  bed  of  a  winter  torrent,  and  is  an  easy  as- 
cent the  whole  way  through ;  and  during  the  greater 

LETTER   VII.  67 

part  of  the  year  quite  passable  for  any  description  of 
conveyance  ;  but  in  consequence  of  the  great  number 
of  robbers,  from  all  parts  of  Beloochistan  and  Sinde, 
who  infest  it,  no  one  thinks  of  travelling  this  route^ 
unless  with  a  very  strong  escort.  A  great  number, 
therefore,  of  native  merchants,  &c.,  took  advantage  of 
the  opportunities  offered  by  the  passage  of  it  by  the 
different  divisions  of  our  army.  We  had  with  us  a 
native  horse-dealer,  who  had  travelled  the  same  way 
down  the  year  before,  with  horses  for  the  Bombay 
market,  and,  as  he  considered,  with  a  sufficient  escort ; 
but  they  were  suddenly  attacked,  his  brother  killed, 
and  he  only  saved  himself  by  the  swiftness  of  his  horse. 
These  robbers  are  several  degrees  more  savage  than 
even  their  brother  Beloochees  in  the  south  of  Sinde. 
There  are  two  clans  of  them.  The  Kaukers  and 
Tuckers ;  of  these,  the  Kaukers  are  by  far  the  worst. 
They  are  represented  as  being  regular  barbarians,  and 
are  even  said  to  be  cannibals,  though  perhaps  that  is 
a  little  too  melodramatic.  They  possess  few  fire-arms, 
but  roll  down  large  pieces  of  rock  in  the  narrow 
passes,  and  rush  out  from  the  small  recesses  of  the 
rocks,  leading  God  knows  where,  which  abound  in 
every  part.  They  never  spare  any  one,  and  cut  and 
hack  about  the  bodies  of  their  victims  in  the  most 
frightful  manner.  With  all  this  they  are  the  greatest 
cowards  possible  ;  a  few  determined  men  would  be  a 
match  for  the  greatest  odds;  but  the  very  name  of 
Kauker  seems  to  convey  terror  in  it  to  a  traveller.     I 


68  CAMPAIGN    OF    THE    INDUS. 

saw  the  head  of  one  of  these  rascals  lying  about  at 
Dadur,  and  it  was  the  most  frightful  face  I  ever 
beheld,  more  like  a  wild  beast's  than  a  human  being's. 
On  entering  the  Pass,  which  we  did  as  if  expecting 
an  enemy,  with  skirmishers,  flanking  parties,  &c.,  we 
were  nearly  stifled  by  the  horrible  smell  arising  from 
the  number  of  dead  camels  which  were  lying  on  the 
ground,  in  every  degree  of  putrefaction.  We  soon, 
however,  came  to  bodies  of  a  different  sort ;  for  on  the 
banks  of  a  small  rivulet,  and  in  the  water,  most  in 
the  long  reeds,  some  in  the  middle  of  the  road,  w^ere 
about  twenty  or  thirty  dead  Sepoys  and  followers. 
They  were  in  every  kind  of  shape  and  contortion  that 
could  indicate  a  violent  death.  Some  were  in  a  tolerable 
state  of  preservation,  but  others,  again,  had  been  sadly 
mauled ;  tripes  torn  out  by  jackals,  and  one  or  two 
were  perfect  skeletons.  We  kept  on  coming  also  upon 
an  arm  or  a  leg,  or  an  ugly-looking  skull;  but  th^ 
most  disgusting  sight  was  an  arm  and  leg,  protruding 
out  of  the  centre  of  the  stream,  washed  to  the  con- 
sistency of  a  washer-woman's  hand  after  a  hard  day's 
washing.  If  you  can  fancy  all  this  on  a  dark,  slug- 
gish-looking stream,  surrounded  by  high  and  barren 
rocks,  you  may,  perhaps,  guess  what  feelings  of  dis- 
gust it  excited  in  us.  However,  before  reaching  Can- 
dahar  we  were  pretty  well  accustomed  to  these  sights, 
and  got  rather  callous  on  the  subject,  as  there  was  a 
fair  sprinkling  of  them  to  be  met  with  all  the  way  to 
that   town.      Well ;  we  made  five    marches  through 

LETTER   VII.  69 

this  delightful  Pass,  and  debouched  on  a  fine  wide 
plain  on  the  17th.  Not  a  stick,  not  a  particle  of 
forage,  except  some  high  rank  grass,  was  to  be  got  in 
all  this  time,  and  we  had  been  obliged  to  take  on  sup- 
plies for  our  camels  and  horses  from  Dadur ;  so  there 
was  a  new  expense,  and  new  carriage  to  be  provided. 
The  robbers  did  not  attempt  any  attack  upon  us  at 
all  (though,  if  they  had  had  the  slightest  pluck,  they 
might  have  crippled  us  pretty  considerably)  except  in 
the  last  march,  but  then  we  fired  on  them  first.  My 
company  was  on  baggage-guard  this  day,  which  was 
sent  on  in  advance  of  the  column;  and  Halket,  seeing 
some  of  the  rascals  on  the  hills,  had  a  crack  at  them 
with  his  double-barrel,  which  produced  a  reply  of 
three  shots  from  them  ;  but  a  soldier  of  the  company 
taking  a  beautiful  aim  at  one  of  them,  at  a  distance  I 
am  afraid  to  mention,  and  nearly  knocking  a  fellow's 
head  off,  the  rest  took  to  their  heels,  and  we  saw  no 
more  of  them.  Our  Grenadiers,  however,  who  were 
bringing  up  the  rear,  had  a  slight  skrimmage  with 
them,  and  killed  five  or  six,  without  any  of  their  shots 
taking  effect,  although  one  man's  firelock  and  another 
man's  belt  were  cut  in  half  by  a  bullet.  They  fired 
on  the  column  which  came  on  afterwards,  and 
wounded  one  trooper  of  the  Light  Dragoons,  and  a 
few  native  followers,  and  killed  three  horses.  Most 
of  us  lost  a  deal  of  kit  in  this  Pass,  owing  to  the  camels' 
feet  knocking  up,  from  the  sharpness  of  the  stones ; 
and  the  very  moment  the  column  was  off  the  ground 
E  2 

70  CAMPAIGN    OF    THE    INDUS. 

the  rascals  would  be  down  and  fighting  for  what  was 
left  behind.  I  was  on  rear-guard  the  second  day's 
march,  and  the  very  moment  we  cleared  the  ground 
it  was  most  amusing  to  see  the  rascals  popping  out  of 
the  holes  in  the  rocks  in  every  direction. 

On  the  ISth,  we  reached  Siriab,  where  we  halted  for 
one  day.  This  was  a  rather  pretty  valley,  with  some 
fruit  gardens,  but  the  fruit  not  ripe.  Here  I  was 
taken  unwell,  and  obliged  to  go  on  the  sick-list ;  I  had 
been  ailing  some  time ;  the  doctor,  however,  put  me  off 
the  list  again  on  the  24th;  but  owing  to  the  fatigue  &c. 
I  underwent  on  25th,  in  going  through  the  Ghwozhe 
Pass,  I  caught  a  violent  fever,  and  the  next  day  was  laid 
on  my  beam  ends,  and  did  not  get  round  again  till  the 
middle  of  last  month.  In  the  Ghwozhe  Pass  our  com- 
pany was  on  baggage  guard.  We  left  our  last  encamp- 
ing ground  at  3  a.  m.  on  the  25th ;  we  had  only  four 
miles  to  the  Pass,  and  the  Pass  was  five  more,  when 
we  reached  our  new  ground,  so  it  was  not  more  than 
nine  miles  altogether,  yet  it  was  10  o'clock  at  night  be- 
fore the  rear-guard,  bringing  up  the  fag  end  of  the 
baggage,  came  in.  For  nearly  the  whole  of  this  day  I 
was  exposed  to  an  infernally  hot  sun,  and  the  stench 
arising  from  the  dead  cattle  was  really  frightful.  I 
was  also  literally  twenty-six  hours  without  getting  a 
morsel  to  eat  or  a  drop  to  drink,  and  but  the  day  be- 
fore on  the  sick-list.  No  wonder  I  was  laid  up ! 
This  Ghwozhe  Pass  was  a  great  deal  worse  than  any 
part  of  the  Bolan.    It  was  nothing  but  a  succession  of 

LETTER   VII.  71 

tlie  most  difficult  ascents  and  precipitous  descents ; 
the  most  trying  kind  of  ground  for  the  poor  camels, 
who  fell  down  in  great  numbers,  and  in  some  parts 
the  path  lay  between  two  high  rocks,  and  was  only 
four  feet  wide ;  how  the  artillery  got  over  it  I  cannot 
imagine.  A  handful  of  determined  men  could,  I 
should  think,  defend  it  against  an  army.  We  were 
on  the  qui  vive  the  whole  time,  expecting  an  attack 
on  the  baggage,  but  we  only  lost  a  few  camels.  Here 
we  caught  up  the  17th  and  artillery,  which  left 
Dadur  before  us.  If  our  toils  had  been  great,  those 
of  the  17th  and  artillery  were  twice  as  much,  as  it 
took  them  two  days  and  two  nights  to  get  the  guns 
through,  and  they  were  obliged  to  bivouack  in  the 
Pass,  and  were  attacked  once  or  twice  by  the  Ghil- 
jees,  whom,  however,  one  section  or  so  easily  drove 
off.  I  must  now  tell  you  that  on  leaving  the  Bolan  Pass 
the  Kaukers  &c.  made  their  bows  to  us,  but  handed 
us  at  the  same  time  over  to  the  care  of  their  intimate 
friends  the  Ghiljees.  These  are  a  kind  of  half- 
civilized  robbers,  a  large  clan,  and  abound  throughout 
the  whole  of  Afghanistan.  Their  chief  is  a  friend  of 
Dost  Mahomed.  They  gave  us  a  little  annoyance  on 
the  road,  but  whenever  they  did  so  they  managed  to 
get  the  worst  of  it.  They  murdered  a  few  poor 
camp  followers.  At  one  place  they  fired  on  some 
grass-cutters  belonging  to  the  4th  Light  Dragoons, 
after  coming  among  them  and  talking  with  them  in  a 
friendly  manner,  as  is  their  usual  custom,  in  order  to 

72  CAMPAIGN    OF    THE    INDUS. 

ascertain  what  might  be  the  chance  of  an  attack.  A 
troop  of  that  corps  was  immediately  sent  out,  with 
nearly  all  the  officers.  Some  villagers  who  had  been 
bringing  things  to  our  camp  joined  the  robbers,  but 
the  4th  played  the  d — 1  with  them,  killing  or  wound- 
ing about  forty,  and  only  one  horse  belonging  to  the 
4th  was  wounded.  Major  Daly,  who  commands  the 
corps,  killed  four  men  himself  with  a  simple  bamboo 
hunting  spear,  used  for  killing  boars.  Sir  J.  Keane 
had  fourteen  of  them  shot  that  had  been  caught  steal- 
ing camels  at  Quittah,  one  march  from  Siriab,  where 
we  left  our  sick :  a  brigade  of  the  Bengal  army  is 
quartered  there. 

Well ;  in  spite  of  Ghiljees,  Kaukers,  Passes,  &c., 
we  reached  Candahar  on  the  4th  of  May,  having  only 
halted  two  days  since  we  left  Dadur, — pretty  good 
work !  We  were  very  much  disappointed  in  the 
country,  which  is  little  better  than  a  desert,  and  the 
weather  cruelly  hot.  I  remember  very  little  of 
what  occurred  after  I  was  on  the  sick-list,  except 
that  on  arriving  at  our  ground  at  one  place,  after 
a  march  of  eighteen  miles,  we  found  that  the  natives 
had  destroyed  the  well  which  was  to  have  supplied 
us  with  water, — pleasant  news  for  a  man  laid  up 
with  fever;  in  consequence  of  which  they  made  a 
good  profit  by  bringing  it  in  for  sale.  About  as 
much  as  would  fill  two  moderate-sized  pitchers  was 
sold  for  half  a  rupee,  about  14:d.  My  European  ser- 
vant came  and  begged  to  be  allowed  to  drink  the  water 

LETTER   VII.  73 

in  my  basin  with  which  I  had  just  washed  myself,  and 
before  I  could  say  anything,  drank  down  the  whole  of 
it  with  a  zest  as  if  it  had  been  champagne. 

We  reached  Candahar  on  the  4th,  and  on  the  8th 
his  Majesty  Shah  Shooja-ool-Moolk  was  crowned, 
after  which  there  was  a  review  of  all  the  troops  that 
were  here  by  his  Majesty,  a  grand  "  tomasha;"  but 
such,  I  am  told,  was  the  unpopularity  of  the  Shah 
that  out  of  the  whole  population  of  Candahar  very 
few  persons  were  looking  on,  though  the  Easterns  are 
devoted  sight-hunters.  On  the  —  he  held  a  levee, 
where  every  officer  had  the  honour  of  making  his  leg 
to  his  Majesty.  I  was  not  present  at  either  of  these 
grand  occasions,  being  at  the  time  still  on  the  sick- 
list.  I,  however,  had  a  glimpse  of  his  Majesty  the 
other  morning  as  he  was  taking  his  airing.  He  is  a 
fine-looking  man,  with  a  splendid  black  beard.  I  am 
told  that  he  is  a  very  accomplished  man,  but  an  ex- 
ceedingly bad  ruler.  He  has  written  his  own  life, 
which  is  said  to  be  very  interesting :  I  should  think 
it  must  be  so,  as  few  men  have  experienced  so  many 
changes  of  fortune  as  he  has.  You  will  find  a  very 
good  description  of  him,  as  well  as  of  Cabool  and 
Sinde,  in  "  Burnes'  Travels  in  Bokhara,"  the  pre- 
sent Sir  Alexander  Burnes,  who  is  second  in  com- 
mand to  Macnaghten,  and  a  great  deal  with  the 
Shah.  I  read  also  an  excellent  article  on  this  coun- 
try &c.  in  the  last  December  or  January  number  of 
"  Blackwood's  Magazine." 

74  CAMPAIGN    OF    THE    INDUS. 

Another  horrible  murder,  somewhat  similar  to  that 
of  Capt.  Hand,  occurred  here  about  the  middle  of 
last  month.  Two  officers  of  the  16th  Lancers,  Inve- 
rarity  and  Wilmer,  went  one  day  on  a  fishing  excur- 
sion to  a  small  river  about  seven  miles  from  this; 
several  parties  had  been  there  before  on  pic-nic 
excursions,  as  it  was  much  cooler,  and  there  were 
some  beautiful  gardens,  with  lots  of  fruit,  on  the  banks 
of  the  stream.  There  is  a  slight  hill  to  be  crossed  in 
getting  to  it,  at  the  top  of  which  is  a  cut-throat  narrow 
pass,  formed  out  of  the  rock ;  you  must  pass  through  it 
in  single  file,  and  the  bottom  being  of  rock  is  so  slip- 
pery and  rough  that  it  is  with  difficulty  a  horse 
can  keep  his  footing  on  it.  They  were  returning 
home  about  half-past  eight  o'clock,  when  Wilmer, 
being  rather  wrong  in  his  stomach,  got  off  his  horse 
for  a  short  time,  and  Inverarity  said  he  would  walk 
to  the  top  of  the  hill  to  look  at  the  view  by  moon- 
light ;  Wilmer  followed  in  a  few  minutes  on  foot,  his 
ghorewalla  following  with  his  horse.  On  coming 
near  the  top  of  the  hill  before  mentioned,  he  was 
somewhat  astonished  at  a  large  stone  whizzing  by 
his  head,  and  immediately  afterwards  about  six  or 
seven  men  jumped  on  him  out  of  the  rocks.  He 
had  time  to  draw  back,  and  received  two  different 
cuts  on  his  walking  stick,  which  cut  it  through,  and 
slightly  wounded  him  on  the  forehead.  He  managed 
to  draw  back  from  another,  which  was  made  at  him 
with  such  strength  that  the  fellow  fell  with  the  force 

LETTER   VII.  75 

of  his  own  blow.  Wilmer  then  thought  it  was  time 
to  cut  and  run,  and  bolted  as  fast  as  he  could  with 
these  chaps  after  him.  They  luckily,  however, 
stopped  to  rob  his  and  Inverarity's  bangles,  contain- 
ing their  kit,  which  they  met  his  servant  carrying,  &c. 
Wilmer  did  not  stop  till  he  reached  a  detachment  of 
the  Shah's  force  which  is  stationed  there  ;  he  returned 
with  a  party  from  them,  and  on  reaching  the  other 
side  of  the  hill  found  poor  Inverarity  lying  on  the 
ground  dreadfully  mutilated ;  he  was  not  quite  dead 
when  they  came  up,  and  Wilmer  says  he  can 
never  forget  the  convulsive  shudder  he  gave  on  their 
arrival,  taking  them  for  the  murderers  returning  to 
finish  him.  He  died,  however,  almost  immediately, 
merely  saying,  "  For  God's  sake,  look  at  my  hands !  I 
am  afraid  I  am  very  badly  wounded."  Thus  fell 
another  victim,  as  we  all  feel,  to  the  conciliation  prin- 
ciple! Neither  Inverarity's  horse  nor  anything  of 
their  kit  has  been  since  seen,  though  Wilmer  has  re- 
covered his  horse.  This  will  give  you  a  pretty  idea 
of  the  country  we  are  living  in.  The  next  day  there 
was  an  order  out  from  Sir  J.  Keane,  in  which, 
after  giving  an  account  of  the  murder,  he  begged  all 
officers  never  to  go  out  into  the  country  on  sporting 
expeditions  unless  in  large  parties  and  w^ell  armed. 
The  Shah  and  Sir  John  were  also  on  the  point  of 
burning  down  the  village  near  which  the  murder  oc- 
curred, but  the  political  department  would  not  allow 
it.     Seven  or  eight  men  were,  however,  taken  up, 

E  3 


though  nothing  certain  has  been  proved.  They  are 
still  in  chains  in  the  town ;  what  will  be  done  with 
them  I  don't  know.  I  always  have  my  holster  pipes, 
and  pistols  loaded,  whenever  I  ride  out,  as  there  is  no- 
thing like  being  prepared. 

I  have  little  to  say  of  Candahar,  which  appears  to 
me  to  be  just  the  same  as  every  other  town  I  have 
seen  in  the  East,  very  dirty,  &c.  It  stands  in  a  toler- 
ably fertile  plain,  with  hills  scattered  all  round  it.  It 
is  a  perfect  square,  each  side  of  which  is  nearly  a  mile 
in  length ;  two  streets,  one  from  north  to  south,  the 
other  from  east  to  west,  run  through  it,  and  bisect 
each  other  in  the  centre  ;  in  these  are  the  different 
bazaars.  The  rest  of  the  town,  as  it  appeared  to  me  as 
I  rode  round  the  walls  the  other  day,  is  perfectly  de- 
serted. There  are  double  walls  to  the  town,  entire  all 
the  way  round,  but  I  should  think  it  could  be  easily 
taken.  A  great  number  of  the  inhabitants  have  left 
it  on  account  of  the  dearness  of  provisions,  occasioned 
by  the  hungry  mouths  of  so  large  a  force  as  ours,  and 
also  because,  on  his  first  arrival,  the  Shah  wished  to 
play  some  of  his  old  arbitrary  acts  over  again. 

The  Ghiljees  have  been  at  their  old  tricks  lately, 
robbing  some  supplies  for  the  army,  which  came  up 
by  the  Bolan  Pass  about  a  week  ago,  and  which  they 
follow^ed  nearly  into  our  camp.  The  caravan,  how- 
ever, was  under  the  charge  of  a  right  sort  of  fellow, 
the  Rajah  of  Buhawulpoor,  who  was  bringing  up  a 
contingent  to  the  Shah's  force,  and  if  any  of  his  camels 

LETTER   VII.  77 

were  taken  away  he  took  two  for  one  from  the  first 
village  he  arrived  at.  The  Ghiljees  got  more  bold 
afterwards,  and  actually  endeavoured  to  walk  oif  with 
the  camels  of  the  Bengal  army,  and  five  or  six  were 
taken  prisoners  by  some  Sepoys,  and  one  blown 
from  a  gun  in  the  town.  They,  however,  killed  one, 
and  severely  wounded  two  other  unarmed  soldiers  of 
H.  M.  13th  Light  Infantry,  who  were  out  with  the 
camels  of  their  regiment,  the  guard  for  the  camels 
having  very  quietly  gone  to  sleep  in  a  house.  The 
poor  fellows  made  a  desperate  fight,  defending  them- 
selves with  their  shoes ;  and  one  of  them  pulled  a 
mounted  Ghiljee  oif  his  horse,  but  had  his  arm  cut 
through  before  he  could  get  the  fellow's  sword  from 
him  :  they  lost  a  great  many  camels. 

June  2dth. — Well,  to-morrow  we  are  off  for  Cabool  '-> 
I  hope  the  country  may  improve  as  we  advance. 
Everybody  speaks  very  highly  of  Cabool  itself — a  fine 
climate,  6000  feet  above  the  sea.  It  has  been  very  hot 
the  whole  time  we  have  been  here.  They  say  there 
is  plenty  of  grain  to  be  had  on  the  road ;  I  hope  this 
may  be  true,  and  that  we  shall  not  have  a  repetition 
of  what  took  place  before  in  regard  to  expense.  I  was 
congratulating  myself,  a  day  or  two  since,  on  the  pros- 
pect of  getting  my  back  pay,  but  now  I  hear  that  I 
shall  not  only  be  minus  that,  but  that  we  are  not  to 
get  any  more  pay  for  three  months,  owing  to  some 
mismanagement  or  other ;  consequently,  we  shall  be 
obliged  to  get  into  debt,  with  a  nice  little  interest  to 
pay  off.     I  wish,  therefore,  that  next  year  you  would 


give  me  credit  for  another  60/.  I  do  not  wish  you  to 
send  it  out  to  me,  but  that  you  would  let  me  draw 
upon  you  as  far  as  that  sum,  in  case  I  should  find  it 
necessary,  as  this  campaign  has  sadly  crippled  me. 
Your  last  601  is  nearly  gone,  and  yet  I  have  not  spent 
a  farthing  that  I  could  help :  this  irregular  way  of 
paying  troops  is  very  disgusting  to  them. 

The  report  is  now  that  we  are  not  likely  to  have  an}^ 
regular  fighting,  as  it  is  pretty  generally  believed  that 
Dost  Mahomed  has  agreed  to  our  terms  ;  the  "  on  dit" 
is,  that  he  is  at  Peshawur,  and  awaits  our  arrival  in 
Cabool,  to  give  himself  up  to  the  British  government. 
Colonel  Wade,  one  of  the  political  diplomatic  line,  is 
near  Peshawur  with  a  part  of  Runjet's  army,  but  Dost 
Mahomed  will  not  surrender  himself  to  him,  nor  will 
Colonel  Wade  cross  the  Punjab  frontiers,  on  account 
of  the  great  enmity  which  exists  between  the  Afghans 
and  Sikhs :  however,  all  this  is  to  be  proved.  I  wish 
w^e  could  have  one  good  brush  with  them,  as  we  should 
then  have  plain  sailing ;  as  it  is,  I  suppose  we  shall  be 
annoyed  by  these  rascally  Ghiljees  all  the  way  up :  out- 
lying pickets  to  take  care  of  camels,  &c.  With  regard 
to  the  climate  of  this  country  I  can  say  little,  as  we 
have  only  been  here  during  the  hot  weather,  and  hot 
we  have  found  it  with  a  vengeance  ;  but  then  we  have 
been  living  in  tents.  One  man  of  ours  has  died  by  a 
coup  de  soleil ;  he  was  one  of  the  camel  guard.  I  do 
not  consider  the  climate  an  unhealthy  one.  It  is  a  very 
lucky  thing  for  us  that  we  were  not  left  in  Sinde  :  the 
troops  left  there  have  suffered  terribly.   Sinde  is  one  of 

LETTER   VII.  79 

the  hottest  places  in  the  world,  and  very  unhealthy;  in 
fact,  I  consider  it  to  be  about  one  of  the  most  disgust- 
ing countries  in  the  world.  The  17th  regiment  lost 
an  officer  there  under  very  melancholy  circumstances. 
He  was  coming  up  to  join  his  regiment,  having  been 
only  lately  appointed  to  it,  and  lost  his  way  in  that 
dreadful  desert  I  told  you  of,  where  he  wandered  in 
a  wretched  state  for  two  days,  during  which  time  the 
simoom  came  on,  and  he  died  from  its  effects  a  short 
time  after  reaching  his  tent ;  the  simoom  was  still  so 
violent  that  his  servants  were  obliged  to  dig  his  grave 
inside  his  tent:  his  body  turned  black  immediately 
after  death. 

We  have  had  excellent  European  fruit  here,  and 
the  gardens  about  the  place  are  very  large  and  beau- 
tiful— peaches,  apricots,  cherries,  apples,  grapes,  and 
mulberries.  I  never  tasted  anything  more  delicious 
than  the  melons  here.  You  cannot  imagine,  in  your 
temperate  climate,  how  refreshing  they  are  on  a  hot 
day ;  but,  then,  they  are  said  to  be  very  dangerous. 
The  vegetables,  too,  are  good,  particularly  to  those 
who  had  been  without  them  so  long  as  we  had.  There 
are  peas,  beans,  salad,  cucumber,  but,  unfortunately, 
no  potatoes;  what  would  we  not  give  for  a  nice 
mealy  murphy !  we  have  not  tasted  one  for  four 
months ;  however,  in  all  these  respects  Cabool  is  much 
superior.  What  we  shall  do  when  we  reach  that  place 
I  cannot  imagine, — one  thing,  the  Hindoo  Koosh,  pre- 
vents our  marching  further.  The  report  is,  that  if  every- 
thing goes  smooth  we  shall  go  back  again  this  year ; 

80  CAMPAIGN    OF    THE    INDUS. 

but  this  I  do  not  believe,  as  I  hardly  think  it  probable 
that  the  government  would  be  at  such  expense  in 
marching  us  such  a  distance  just  to  keep  us  at  Cabool 
for  a  month,  and  if  we  overstay  that  it  will  be  too  late, 
and  the  snow  and  severity  of  the  climate  will  hinder 
our  returning.  Moreover,  Runjet  Sing  is  very  ill,  and, 
they  say,  is  likely  to  kick,  in  which  case  there  will,  I 
take  it,  be  a  regular  shindy  in  the  Punjab ;  and  John 
Company,  when  he  has  once  put  his  foot  into  a 
country,  does  not  withdraw  it  very  soon.  Besides, 
there  is  Herat  and  Persia  to  be  looked  to.  For  my 
part,  I  have  no  objection  to  a  winter  in  Cabool ;  and 
if  we  can  only  get  up  our  supplies  in  the  liquor  line, 
we  shall,  I  have  no  doubt,  make  ourselves  very  com- 
fortable. The  16th  Lancers  have  an  excellent  pack 
of  foxhounds  with  them,  and  horses  are  very  cheap. 
There  are  to  be  races  &c.  on  a  grand  scale  also  when 
we  get  there :  and  if  we  can  get  our  supplies  up  by  that 
time,  we  may  look  forward  to  spending  a  merry  Christ- 
mas even  in  such  a  distant  country.  How  curious  all 
this  must  sound  to  you  in  your  quiet,  lovely  home  of 
Brookhill.  I  have  often  thought  of  you  all  during 
this  campaign,  particularly  the  other  day,  when  I  had 
the  fever ;  and  I  hope  and  trust  my  life  may  be  spared 
that  I  may  see  you  all  once  more,  particularly  as  I 
have  never  seen  you  at  Brookhill. 

With  regard  to  myself,  my  health,  with  the  excep- 
tion of  the  fever,  has  been  much  better  than  I  could 
have  expected,  considering  what  we  have  gone  through. 
I  have,  however,  been  sadly  bothered  the  whole  time 

LETTER    VII.  81 

I  have  been  in  the  country  with  rheumatism  ;  at  times, 
during  the  march,  I  was  so  bad  with  it  that  I  could 
not  walk  ten  minutes  at  a  time.  I  have  also  had  ter- 
rible pains  in  the  joints  of  my  arms,  and  have  them 
still,  and  it  is  with  difficulty  I  can  get  a  gun  to  my 
shoulder.  I  can  walk  pretty  well  now,  but  running 
is  totally  out  of  the  question ;  so  that  I  am  afraid  I 
should  come  off  poorly  in  a  hand-to-hand  encounter 
with  these  rascals.  I  applied  to  the  doctor  for  some 
medicine,  but  he  said  "  he  could  give  me  none  ;"  in 
fact,  they  will  not  give  an  officer  any  medicine  now 
unless  he  is  very  seriously  ill,  as  they  are  very  short  of 
medical  stores. 

I  hope  you  may  be  able  to  get  through  this  letter ; 
the  blue  paper  I  have  been  writing  on  is  Russian,  and 
bought  in  Candahar.  I  do  not  think  I  have  anything 
more  to  say.  I  will  write  again  when  I  reach  Cabool. 
Tell  Kate  I  will  write  to  her  too :  I  hope  she  got  my 
letter  which  I  wrote  in  January  last  under  cover  to 

With  best  love  to  all  at  home. 

Believe  me  your  very  affectionate  son, 


P.S. — By-the-bye,  there  is  an  officer  here  inH.  M. 
13th  Light  Infantry,  with  the  Bengal  force,  who 
knows  Arthur  very  well,  in  fact,  I  think  a  great  deal 
better  than  I  do  myself.     His  name  is  Wood ;  he  is 


a  Canterbury  man,  and  seems  to  know  Mr.  Baylay 
and  everybody  else  there.  He  was  in  the  48th  when 
Arthur  was  at  Canterbury  wdth  the  4th  Drag.  Guards. 
He  desired  to  be  kindly  remembered  to  Arthur  when  I 
wrote.  I  hope  Eliza's  hooping-cough  is  well.  I  was 
very  sorry  to  hear  of  poor  Sluman's  death :  as  far  back 
as  I  can  recollect  he  is  always  associated  in  my  mind 
with  home.  I  hope  Ghiljee,  Kauker,  Beloochee, 
and  Co.,  will  let  this  pass. 



Camp,  near  Ghuzni,  July  24th,  1839. 

My  dear  Father, — You  must  put  down  yesterday, 
the  23rd  of  July,  in  your  memorandum  book  as  a 
memorable  day  for  your  son  Tom,  and,  I  may  say,  for 
the  British  army.  Ghuzni,  the  strongest  fortress  in 
Afghanistan,  was  taken  by  assault  in  three-quarters 
of  an  hour,  by  the  four  European  regiments  of  the 
army — viz.,  the  Queen's,  13th  Light  Infantry,  17th 
regiment,  and  Bengal  European  regiment.  The 
storming  party,  or  forlorn  hope,  consisted  of  the 
Light  Companies  of  the  four  regiments.  The  whole 
right  in  front — ergo,  our  company  (the  Light  Com- 
pany of  the  Queen's)  was  the  first  in.  I  may  well 
remember  it,  as  it  was  the  first  time  I  smelt  gun- 
powder and  saw  blows  given  in  real  earnest.  It  is  the 
most  splendid  thing  for  us  that  could  have  happened : 
if  we    had   failed,    we  should  have   had   the   whole 

84  CAMPAIGN    OF    THE    INDUS. 

countrj  down  upon  us  in  a  few  days ;  now,  they  say, 
the  country  is  ours. 

It  is  reported  that  Sir  J.  Keane  was  so  very 
anxious  about  it,  that  when  he  heard  our  first  cheers, 
after  entering  the  gate  of  the  town,  he  actually  cried, 
it  was  such  a  relief  to  his  mind;  and  that  he  told 
Brigadier  Sale,  lieutenant-colonel  of  the  13th  Light 
Infantry,  who  commanded  on  the  occasion,  that  it  was 
very  likely  that  the  fate  of  India  depended  on  our 
taking  this  place.  Ghuzni  was  considered  Dost 
Mahomed's  principal  fortress  :  his  son  commanded  in 
it,  and  it  was  garrisoned  by  3000  Afghans.  Young 
Dost  expected  to  hold  it  out  for  a  fortnight ;  and  his 
father  was  to  have  come  to  his  relief  in  a  day  or  two, 
when  we  should  have  had  a  difficult  part  to  perform, 
as  we  should  have  been  surrounded  in  this  valley  by 
armed  parties  on  all  sides ;  so  that  it  would  have  been 
really  a  ticklish  job.  They  had  collected  provisions 
in  the  town  for  three  months,  and  arms  and  ammuni- 
tion ;  in  fact,  it  was  the  regular  depot  for  their  army. 
They  had  also  about  four  or  five  lacs  of  rupees ;  but 
that  will  not  give  us  much  prize  money.  Our  loss 
was  very  trifling,  owing  to  the  daring  and  sudden 
nature  of  the  attack,  as  they  were  taken  totally  by 
surprise.  Our  regiment  suffered  the  most,  and  we 
have  thirty-seven  killed  and  wounded,  including  of- 
ficers, of  whom  six  out  of  eighteen  were  wounded — 
one-third  of  the  whole, — however,  none  of  the  latter 
dangerously,  thank  God,  though  two  of  them  are  re- 


turned  severely  wounded.  Five  men  of  our  regiment 
were  killed  outright  on  the  spot,  and  I  am  afraid  we 
shall  lose  some  more  in  a  few  days  from  the  effects  of 
their  wounds.  Of  the  enemy,  about  500  were  killed, 
and  more  than  1500  made  prisoners;  and  of  the  re- 
mainder, who  made  their  escape  over  the  walls,  the 
greater  part  were  cut  down  by  the  Dragoons,  or  spiffli- 
cated  by  the  Lancers.  Among  the  prisoners  is  young 
Dost  himself,  the  greatest  prize  of  all.  More  than  a 
thousand  magnificent  horses  have  also  been  taken,  be- 
sides pack-horses,  camels,  and  grain  in  abundance. 
However,  I  never  can  tell  a  story  without  going  back 
to  the  very  commencement. 

I  finished  my  last  letter  to  you  the  day  before  we 
left  Candahar.  Well;  we  started  on  Sunday,  the 
30th  of  June,  and  made  seven  marches  to  Belanti 
Ghiljee,  where  we  caught  up  the  Shah's  army,  v/ith  a 
Bengal  division.  Here  Sir  John  Keane  had  first 
come  in  sight  of  young  Dost's  army,  who,  however, 
retired  very  quickly,  though  there  was  some  talk  of 
their  holding  out  at  this  place,  and  we  were  pushed 
on  rapidly  in  consequence.  They  shewed  their 
sense  in  not  holding  out  there,  as  it  would  not  have 
taken  us  long  to  dislodge  them.  We  halted  here  a 
day,  and  then  marched  on  by  very  short  and  easy 
marches,  halting  every  third  or  fourth  day,  and  taking 
things  very  easy,  although  we  were  constantly  an- 
noyed by  the  Ghiljees,  who  murdered  several  of  our 
camp  followers,  and  tried  to  rob  us  whenever  they 

86  CAMPAIGN    OF    THE    INDUS. 

could  find  an  opportunity,  until  we  were  within  five 
good  marches  of  Ghuzni,  when  General  Willshire 
received  an  order  to  push  on  by  forced  marches,  and 
to  make  these  five  into  three.  After  making  two  out 
of  these  three,  (and  precious  long  ones  they  were,) 
we  found  out  that  we  were  still  upwards  of  twenty 
miles  from  Ghuzni,  with  the  men  so  fatigued  that  it 
was  nearly  impossible  for  them  to  do  it,  and  that  we 
should  therefore  be  obliged  to  make  two  of  it.  The 
event,  how^ever,  proved  the  contrary ;  for,  about  seven 
o'clock  in  the  evening,  a  dispatch  came  from  General 
Willshire,  and  about  eight,  just  as  we  were  preparing 
to  turn  in,  the  orders  were  out  to  strike  our  tents,  and 
march  in  an  hour's  time,  and  catch  up  Sir  John  Keane 
and  the  Shah,  who  were  halted  about  nine  miles  in 
advance  of  us.  Sir  John  was  anxious  to  have  the 
whole  force  concentrated  before  marching  on  Ghuzni. 
Nothing,  however,  was  certain ;  and  we  were  all  in 
a  high  state  of  excitement,  not  knowing  what  to 
expect :  this  was  the  evening  of  the  20th.  We  made 
quick  work  of  this  march,  and  reached  Sir  John 
Keane  about  half-past  twelve.  Here  we  heard  that 
Sir  John  Keane  was  in  expectation  of  a  night  attack. 
He  l\ad  fallen  in  that  morning  with  the  advance  of 
the  enemy,  who  had,  however,  upon  the  appearance 
of  the  British  force,  retired  upon  Ghuzni.  We 
bivouacked  on  our  ground,  after  throwing  out  strong 
pickets,  and  marched  again  at  5  a.  m.,  Sir  John 
Keane,  the  Bengalees,  and  cavalry  in  advance,  then 


the  Shah,  and  then  our  small  party.  We,  however, 
sent  our  artillery  to  join  Sir  John.  About  eight 
o'clock,  when  within  about  three  miles  of  Ghuzni, 
we  heard  the  first  symptoms  that  the  game  of  war  was 
beginning:  our  batteries  were  firing  on  the  place, 
and  the  garrison  were  returning  it  with  good  effect ;  it 
served  as  a  sort  of  overture  to  the  opera  in  which  we 
knew  we  must  soon  be  actors. 

In  consequence  of  the  great  quantity  of  baggage, 
now  the  whole  army  was  joined,  we  were  halted  for  a 
couple  of  hours  to  protect  it,  and  the  whole  of  the 
cavalry  was  sent  back  for  that  purpose ;  and  well  it 
was  that  they  were,  as  a  part  of  the  enemy's  cavalry 
made  a  demonstration  for  attacking  it,  but  withdrew 
on  seeing  ours.  We  were  at  length  marched  on,  and 
took  up  our  ground  a  little  to  the  S.W.  of  the  fort, 
but  out  of  harm's  way,  when  we  heard  a  more  definite 
account  of  what  had  been  done.  The  advance  of 
the  Bengal  column,  H.  M.  13th  Light  Infantry  and 
the  16th  Native  Infantry,  had  some  little  work  in 
driving  the  enemy  out  of  the  gardens  and  old  build- 
ings that  surround  the  town.  This,  however,  they 
accomplished  with  a  trifling  loss ;  our  guns  then  opened 
on  the  place,  but  as  they  were  light  ones  (the  heaviest 
being  still  in  the  rear),  with  little  effect.  This  desultory 
fire  on  both  sides  was,  however,  kept  up  for  about 
three  hours :  little  execution  being  done,  and  a  few 
casualties  having  occurred  among  the  artillery.  Sir 
John  Keane  ordered  the  guns  to  be  withdrawn.     We 


had  not  been  on  our  ground  more  than  three  hours 
when  we  were  ordered  once  more  on  the  march,  and 
to  march  by  a  circuitous  route  across  the  mountains, 
in  order  to  avoid  the  fire  of  the  town,  and  take  up  our 
ground  on  the  other  side  of  it.  We  reached  our  new 
ground  about  nine,  after  a  fatiguing  march  of  seven 
miles,  crossing  the  river,  and,  by  an  infernal  path, 
through  the  hills.  Here  we  bivouacked  again  for  the 
night,  as  little  of  our  baggage  had  arrived. 

The  enemy  took  this  move  of  ours  as  a  defeat,  and 
concluded  that  we  had  marched  on  to  Cabool,  de- 
spairing of  taking  their  fort :  the  event  proved  how 
wofully  they  were  mistaken !  They  wasted  a  good 
deal  of  powder  in  firing  for  joy,  and  young  Dost 
sent  a  dispatch  from  the  place  to  his  father,  apprizing 
him  of  the  fact,  and  begging  him  to  come  down  upon  us 
immediately,  while  he  would  follow  upon  our  rear. 
He  also  sent  to  a  Ghiljee  chieftain  near  us,  telling 
him  to  collect  as  many  followers  and  country  people 
as  he  could  to  make  an  attack  upon  our  baggage,  as 
he  had  only  to  come  down  and  take  it.  We  sold  this 
fellow  a  bargain,  however,  the  next  day.  Well ;  the 
first  thing  we  heard  the  next  morning  was  from 
young  Keane,  and  to  this  effect,  that  we  were  to 
rest  for  that  day,  and  that  the  four  European  corps 
were  to  storm  the  place  the  next  morning  before  day- 
light, as  the  state  of  the  country  was  such  that  Sir 
John  could  not  waste  time  in  breaching  it ;  and, 
moreover,  it  was  doubtful  whether,  from  the  nature 


of  the  walls,  it  could  be  breached  at  all.  We  did 
not,  however,  learn  the  final  dispositions  till  the 

That  day,  the  22nd,  I  shall  never  forget ;  it  was 
a  very  dismal  one ;  much  more  so  than  the  next. 
There  was  a  nervous  irritability  and  excitement 
about  us  the  whole  day ;  constantly  looking  at  the 
place  through  spy-glasses,  &c.  ;  and  then  fellows 
began  to  make  their  wills,  and  tell  each  other  what 
they  wished  to  have  done  in  case  they  fell ;  alto- 
gether it  was  not  at  all  pleasant,  and  every  one  longed 
most  heartily  for  the  morrow,  and  to  have  it  over. 
I  felt  as  I  used  to  do  when  I  was  a  child,  and  knew 
I  must  take  a  black  dose  or  have  a  tooth  drawn  the 
next  morning.  About  twelve  o'clock  a  great  deal  of 
firing  took  place  on  our  left ;  this  we  soon  ascertained 
to  be  the  Ghiljee  chief  I  have  before  mentioned, 
coming  down  with  the  amiable  purpose  of  lootzing 
our  camp.  A  part  of  the  Shah's  Afghan  cavalry,  a 
few  guns  of  the  Horse  Artillery,  and  a  squadron  of 
Lancers,  were  ordered  out,  who  soon  sent  them  to  the 
right-about.  The  chief,  when  he  saw  that  it  was  not 
such  an  easy  job  as  he  expected,  cut  his  stick  the  first, 
with  his  horsemen,  about  2000,  leaving  the  poor  foot- 
pads, about  1000,  to  shift  for  themselves.  They  were 
terribly  mauled,  and  a  great  number  of  prisoners 
taken,  whose  heads  the  Shah  struck  off  immediately. 
Well ;  evening  came  at  last !  and  then  we  heard  the 
morning's  news  confirmed;  that  the  Light  Companies 


of  the  four  corps  were  to  form  the  storming  party,  that 
an  Engineer  officer,  with  some  Sappers,  each  carry- 
ing a  bag  of  gunpowder  (in  all  SOOlbs.),  was  to  ad- 
vance to  the  Cabool  gate,  and  place  it  there,  in  order 
to  blow  it  down  ;  that  immediately  upon  the  gates  fall- 
ing we  were  to  rush  in  and  take  possession  of  the 
town,  &c.  At  the  same  time  a  false  attack  was  to  be 
made  by  the  16th  Bengal  Native  Infantry  on  the 
Candahar  gate,  in  order  to  divert  the  enemy's  atten- 
tion. Brigadier  Sale,  lie ut. -colonel  of  the  13th,  was 
to  command  the  whole,  and  Col.  Dennie,  of  the  same 
corps,  the  storming  party.  Three  regiments  of  Na- 
tive Infantry  were  to  be  in  reserve,  under  Sir  Wil- 
loughby  Cotton ;  and  the  cavalry  were  to  be  stationed 
so  as  best  to  intercept  the  flight  of  those  who  might 
manage  to  make  their  escape  from  the  place.  We 
were  to  be  formed  ready  for  the  attack  at  two  o'clock  in 
the  morning,  close  to  a  high  pillar,  about  half  a  mile 
from  the  fort ;  we  were  to  advance  under  cover  of  the 
Artillery,  who  were  to  fire  over  and  clear  the  walls 
for  us.  I  laid  down  in  my  cloak  directly  after  mess, 
and,  being  dreadfully  tired,  never  slept  more  soundly 
than  I  did  the  night  before  the  storming  of  Ghuzni. 

At  one  o'clock  we  turned  out ;  I  took  a  cup  of  tea 
and  a  couple  of  ginger  biscuits,  and  joined  my  com- 
pany :  in  a  quarter  of  an  hour  we  were  on  our  march 
to  the  pillar,  where  we  were  to  be  formed.  Here  we 
found  Col.  Sale  and  the  Engineer  officers,  &c.  Col. 
Sale  called  out  the  officers,  and  told  them  the  plan  of 


the  attack,  which  was  to  be  the  same  as  mentioned  be- 
ore,  except  that  the  13th  Light  Infantry  were  to  hne 
the  ditch  outside  the  town,  and  fire  on  the  ramparts, 
while  we  advanced.  The  storming  party.  Queen's 
and  Bengal  European  regiments,  were,  after  entering 
the  gate,  to  move  along  a  street  to  the  left,  clearing 
the  houses,  &c.,  and  on  arriving  at  the  end  to  mount 
the  ramparts,  and  to  return  by  them.  Our  object  in 
doing  this  was  to  drive  as  many  men  as  possible  into  the 
citadel,  and  having  obtained  this  object,  a  signal  was 
to  be  given,  and  the  artillery  were  to  fire  shells  into 
the  citadel,  which,  particularly  as  their  powder  maga- 
zine was  there,  it  was  expected  would  soon  make  them 
cut  and  run.  The  17th  and  13th  regiments  being 
nearest,  were  then  to  rush  up  and  take  possession  of 
the  citadel,  and  the  Native  regiments,  being  in  re- 
serve, were  to  assist  them.  Col.  Sale  then  said  a  few 
words  of  encouragement,  and  concluded  by  hoping 
"  we  should  all  have  luck" — on  the  whole  a  very 
neat  and  appropriate  speech.  We  then  piled  arms, 
and  officers  fell  out.  I  never  saw  fellows  more  merry 
than  most  of  us  were  while  we  were  waiting  there ;  in 
fact,  if  we  had  been  going  to  the  most  delightful  place 
in  the  world,  we  could  not  have  appeared  in  better 
spirits  ;  and  this  put  me  strongly  in  mind  of  a  scene  I 
had  read  in  a  book  called  "  The  Subaltern,"  where 
the  feelings  of  the  officers,  waiting  for  an  attack,  are 
described  as  being  just  the  same.  At  length,  "  bang" 
went  a  gun  from  our  batteries.     Col.  Sale  said,  "  Ah, 



there  goes  the  signal;  we  had  better  be  starting:" 
just  as  if  one  was  to  get  ready  to  take  a  ride  to  Brix- 
ham  or  elsewhere.  Well ;  we  fell  in,  and  in  about  a 
quarter  of  an  hour  off  we  went.  The  enemy  returned 
the  fire  from  our  batteries  in  good  style,  and  there 
was  a  regular  row.  They  pointed  their  "  Long  Tom," 
a  fifty-two  pounder,  towards  us,  and  sent  the  shot 
over  our  heads  and  a  little  to  our  left.  The  ball 
made  a  terrific  row  rushing  over  us.  Whilst  we  were 
marching  down  to  the  attack  the  fire  on  both  sides 
was  at  its  height.  The  noise  was  fearful,  and  the 
whole  scene  the  grandest  and,  at  the  same  time, 
the  most  awful  I  ever  witnessed.  I  caught  myself, 
once  or  twice,  trying  to  make  myself  as  small  as  I 
could.  As  we  got  nearer  the  gate  it  grew  worse,  and 
the  enemy,  from  their  loop-holes,  began  to  pepper  us 
with  matchlocks  and  arrows.  The  scene  now  was 
splendid.  The  enemy,  at  the  commencement  of  the 
firing,  threw  out  blue  lights  in  several  places,  which 
looked  beautiful,  and  the  flames  of  their  and  our  artil- 
lery, together  with  the  smaller  flashes  from  the  match- 
lock men,  added  to  the  roar  of  their  big  guns,  the 
sharp  cracking  of  the  matchlocks,  the  whizzing  of 
their  cannon  balls  and  ours,  (the  latter  of  which,  by- 
the-bye,  went  much  nearer  our  heads  than  the  enemy's^ 
as  our  artillery  fired  beautifully,  and  sent  their  shot 
close  over  our  heads,  on  the  ramparts,)  the  sing- 
ing of  the  bullets,  and  the  whizzing  of  their  arrows,  all 
combined,    made   up  as  pretty   a  little  row  as   one 


would  wish  to  hear.  Add  to  this,  that  it  was  as  dark 
as  pitch,  and  you  may  judge  of  the  effect.  We  made 
a  rush  over  the  bridge,  which  the  enemy  had  not  de- 
stroyed, and  continuing  it  up  a  sHght  ascent,  we  found 
ourselves  of  a  sudden  close  to  the  gate.  Here  there 
was  a  check.  Although  the  gate  was  blown  down, 
still  the  remains  of  it,  and  the  barricade  on  the  inside, 
rendered  it  a  difficult  place  to  get  over,  particularly  as 
it  wanted  at  least  half  an  hour  of  daylight,  and  was 
perfectly  dark.  The  two  first  sections  were  therefore 
a  long  time  getting  through,  during  which  the  two 
last,  to  which  I  belonged,  were  standing  still  outside, 
exposed  to  a  cross  fire  from  two  round  towers,  which 
flanked  the  entrance.  Our  men,  however,  kept  up 
such  a  smart  fire  upon  every  hole  and  opening  that  no 
man  dared  shew  his  nose,  and  their  fire  was  therefore 
rendered  harmless.  At  length  we  moved  in,  and 
found  that,  besides  what  I  have  mentioned  above, 
there  was  a  large  hole  in  the  roof  of  the  portico  over 
the  gate,  through  which  the  enemy  were  pitching 
earth,  beams  of  wood,  stones,  &c. ;  one  of  these 
beams  knocked  over  my  European  servant,  who  was 
next  to  me,  and  dislocated  his  arm,  and,  taking  me  in 
the  flank,  made  me  bite  the  dust  also ;  however,  I 
had  no  further  hurt  than  a  slight  bruise,  and  was  up 
again  immediately,  as  I  heard  one  of  the  soldiers  say, 
"  Oh !  there  is  poor  Mr.  Holdsworth :  he's  down !" 

On  getting  within  the  gate  a  few  volleys  cleared  the 
opening  of  the  street.      Robinson,  (our  captain,)  Col. 

F  2 


Sale,  with  Kershaw  and  Wood  of  the  13th,  Sale's  staff, 
(the  latter  the  man  who  knew  Arthur  at  Canterbury,) 
were  the  first  in.  Poor  Col.  Sale  got  a  cut  in  the 
mouth,  and  fell  upon  Kershaw,  who  went  down  with 
him ;  on  rising,  an  Afghan  was  lifting  his  sword  to 
cut  down  Sale,  when  Kershaw  seized  the  hilt  of  his 
sword,  and  ran  his  own  into  him.  Robinson  also  got 
a  terrible  cut  on  the  side  of  his  head,  which  would  have 
done  his  business  for  him  if  he  had  not  had  on  a  cap 
padded  with  cotton,  which  deadened  the  weight  of  the 
blow.  All  the  companies  of  the  storming  party,  however, 
got  in  well,  except  the  last,  the  light  company  of  the 
Bengal  European  regiment,  and  they  had  a  desperate 
fight,  the  enemy  having  returned  to  the  gate  in  great 
numbers,  and  twenty-seven  men  of  the  company  were 
laid  low  in  no  time.  After  this  every  company  that 
came  in  had  a  shindy  at  the  gate ;  the  fact  was,  that 
the  enemy  took  every  company  for  the  fast,  and  there- 
fore made  a  desperate  attempt  to  escape  through  it. 
Our  company,  with  the  advance,  pushed  through  the 
town,  clearing  the  tops  of  the  houses.  We  only  lost 
one  man  of  our  company ;  we  thought  he  was  done 
for  at  first,  but  he  is  still  alive,  and,  I  am  glad  to  say, 
likely  to  do  well;  he  was  shot  right  through  the 
breastplate,  and  the  ball  went  round  his  body  and  was 
taken  out  of  his  back ;  he  is  to  wear  the  same  breast- 
plate in  future.  On  coming  to  the  end  of  the  town 
we  halted,  and  were  agreeably  surprised,  shortly  after, 
to  see  the  British  flag  waving  on  the  top  of  the  citadel: 


the  fact  of  the  matter  was,  that  the  enemy  never 
thought  of  retiring  to  the  citadel  at  all,  but  endea- 
voured to  make  their  escape  directly  they  found  we 
were  inside  the  gates;  the  17th  and  ISth,  therefore, 
quietly  marched  up  and  took  possession  of  it. 

We  now  returned  by  the  ramparts,  taking  a  great 
number  of  prisoners,  and  on  reaching  the  large  street 
where  the  horses  were,  the  scene  was  perfectly  ridi- 
culous ;  the  horses  were  loose,  and  running  and  charg- 
ing about  in  all  directions,  kicking,  fighting,  &c.  On 
getting  near  the  gate  we  entered  by,  the  eifects  of  our 
fight  became  more  apparent,  as  dying  and  dead  Af- 
ghans testified.  There  were  eight  lying  at  one  par- 
ticular spot,  where  a  tumbril  had  blown  up,  and  their 
bodies  were  still  burning  from  the  effects.  I  never 
saw  finer  men  than  some  of  these  Afghans — they 
were  perfect  models.  The  plunder  now  began,  though 
to  little  purpose,  as  prize  agents  were  at  the  gates 
and  made  most  of  us  refund.  I  managed,  however, 
to  get  through  a  rather  handsome  spear,  which  I  took 
from  before  the  tent  of  one  of  the  chiefs.  If  the  care- 
lessness of  my  servants  will  allow  it  I  mean  to  keep  it 
till  we  get  back,  whenever  that  may  be,  and  send  it 
home  by  some  trusty  person,  when  perhaps  you  may 
think  it  worthy  of  a  place  among  your  curiosities  at 
Brookhill,  The  13th  and  17th,  however,  had  the  best 
of  it  in  the  citadel,  which  was  also  the  palace,  and 
where  all  young  Dost's  women  were.  I  hear  that  the 
soldiers  have  possession  of  some  very  handsome  articles 


which  they  boned  there  I  believe.  After  this,  young 
Dost,  or,  to  give  him  his  right  name,  Hyder  Khan, 
was  found  in  a  large  hole  near  the  citadel,  with  about 
twenty  followers ;  they  had  some  work,  however,  in 
securing  him.  About  this  time  I  saw  the  Shah,  with 
the  diplomatic  people,  Sir  J.  Keane,  and  Sir  W.  Cotton, 
enter  the  fort  and  proceed  to  the  citadel.  The  old 
Shah  was  mightily  delighted,  as  well  he  might  be,  and 
expressed  himself  in  raptures  with  the  European  sol- 
diery. I  was  back  again  to  breakfast  at  mess  by  eight 
o'clock.  Several  of  our  men  were  wounded  by  arrows. 
One  soldier  swore  "  that  a  fellow  had  shot  his  ramrod 
into  him."  Stisted  had  an  arrow  through  the  calf  of 
his  leg,  but  his  wound  is  not  considered  of  any  im- 

Juli/  30th, — Sir  J.  Keane,  with  the  greater  part  of 
the  army,  marched  this  morning  for  Cabool ;  ours  (the 
Bombay  division)  march  to-morrow.  Although  the 
greater  part  of  the  town  was  taken  in  the  -way  I  have 
described,  still  a  party  of  about  100  men,  under  Dost 
Mahomed's  standard-bearer,  (a  great  man,  of  course,) 
held  out  till  the  next  day,  when  they  were  all  taken, 
and  soon  afterwards  shot.  They  certainly  must  have 
been  assisted  by  some  Europeans,  as  their  powder  was 
made  up  in  a  very  scientific  manner,  and  their  grape 
was  exceedingly  well  put  together.  Young  Dost  can- 
not imagine  how  the  gate  was  blown  down  ;  he  thinks, 
I  hear,  that  we  shot  two  men  inside  the  fort  from  a 
big  gun,  who  opened  the  door  for  us.     He  was  sleep- 


ing  over  it  at  the  time ;  the  explosion  must  have  "  as- 
tonished him  a  few,  I  guess."  He  sajs  some  of  his  fa- 
ther's best  soldiers  have  fallen  there ;  and  one  man  in 
particular,  a  great  chief,  said  to  be  the  best  swordsman 
between  Cabool  and  Candahar.  I  have  been  in  the 
fort  since,  and  I  am  glad  we  took  it  in  the  dark,  as  it 
is  not  at  all  a  nice  looking  place  by  daylight.  The 
rooms  in  the  citadel  are  very  fine,  particularly  where 
the  women  were,  the  ceilings  of  which  are  inlaid  with 
gold  work.  All  our  sick  and  wounded  are  to  be  left 
here :  we  only  leave  one  officer  behind,  poor  Young, 
who  was  shot  through  the  thigh  very  near  the  groin. 

Reports  have  been  very  various  since  the  fall  of 
Ghuzni  whether  Dost  himself  will  fight  or  not.  It 
seems  to  be  generally  expected  that  we  shall  have  an- 
other shindy  before  we  get  to  Cabool,  though  a  great 
number  of  chiefs  have  lately  come  in  to  the  Shah, 
among  the  principal  of  whom  is  Hadjee  Khan  Kauker, 
the  governor  of  Bamian,  a  man  of  great  influence  in 
the  country,  and  a  great  intriguer,  formerly  a  great 
friend  of  Dost  Mahomed's.  He  came  in  to  us  about 
three  hours  after  the  place  had  fallen :  he  had  been 
waiting  on  the  top  of  a  hill  to  see  the  result,  and  was 
prepared  to  join  whichever  side  was  victorious.  I  must 
tell  you,  also,  that  on  the  21st,  the  day  we  marched 
upon  Ghuzni,  another  son  of  Dost  was  waiting  out- 
side the  town  to  attack  us  with  about  three  thousand 
men ;  but  on  seeing  the  size  of  our  army  he  thought 
better  of  it,  and  cut  for  Cabool  as  fast  as  he  could ;  he 
was  deserted  on  the  way  by  most  of  his  army,  and 


reached  Cabool  with  scarcely  a  follower :  his  father 
was  exceedingly  enraged,  and  is  said  to  have  put  him 
in  prison. 

Sunday,  28th.  —  The  day  before  yesterday.  Dost 
Mahomed's  brother,  a  man  who  has  always  favoured 
the  English,  and  advised  Dost  to  have  nothing  to  do 
with  the  Persians,  &c.,  but  who  lives  quite  retired, 
and  has  very  little  to  do  with  politics,  came  into  our 
camp  to  endeavour  to  make  terms  for  his  brother ;  but, 
it  is  said,  neither  party  was  satisfied :  they  say  that 
lie  was  disgusted  at  our  proposals,  and  replied,  '^  that 
Dost  would  rather  lose  his  life  than  accept  them." 
Dost  wants  to  be  made  the  Shah's  vizier ;  but  that,  of 
course,  could  not  be  allowed.  How  it  will  end  no  one 
knows :  however,  a  few  days  will  shew.  We  have  had 
several  deserters  from  Dost's  army ;  they  say  he  is  en- 
camped, and  has  thrown  up  strong  entrenchments 
about  three  miles  in  front  of  Cabool.  I  should  hardly, 
however,  think  that  the  people  of  Cabool  will  allow 
his  doing  so,  as  there  are  several  rich  people  in  it  who 
would  not  like  to  see  Ghuzni  reacted  at  their  own 
door.  There  would  be  lots  of  prize  money  for  us. 
Talking  of  prize  money,  I  am  afraid  there  will  not  be 
very  much,  though  the  things  that  were  taken  sold 
remarkably  well,  as  did  also  the  horses,  &c.  I  managed 
to  buy,  though  for  much  beyond  its  value,  a  rather 
pretty  coverlet  for  a  bed,  which  was  taken  in  the  fort, 
which  perhaps  belonged  to  some  of  the  young  ladies  of 
the  harem ;  it  is  of  shawl  velvet,  and  said  to  be  made 
in  Cashmere.     I  intend  to  send  it  home  with  the 


spear,  and  give  it  to  Kate ;  though  what  use  she  can 
put  it  to  I  hardly  know,  as  I  am  sure  it  will  not  be 
large  enough  for  her  bed;  still,  when  one  considers 
whence  it  was  taken,  it  may  possess  some  little  in- 
terest. Young  Dost  is  left  behind  in  the  fort,  which 
is  to  be  strongly  garrisoned,  and  where  we  leave  all 
our  sick  and  wounded. 

The  climate  of  this  place  is  delightful ;  it  is  about 
6000  feet  above  the  level  of  the  sea;  and  although 
this  is  the  hottest  month  in  the  year,  still  we  do  not 
find  it  at  all  unpleasant,  living  in  tents :  a  delightful 
change  from  Candahar.  There  is  the  most  beautiful 
clover  here  I  ever  saw,  and  lots  of  fruit. 

We  have  just  received  intelligence  of  Runjet  Sing's 
death ;  he  has  been  reported  dead  several  times  be- 
fore ;  but  they  say  this  time  it  is  really  the  case ;  if  so, 
we  are  still  only  at  the  beginning  of  our  work,  as  we 
shall  most  likely  have  something  to  do  in  the  Punjab. 
The  government,  it  is  said,  have  guaranteed  the  suc- 
cession of  Runjet's  son,  who  is  little  better  than  a  na- 
tural idiot.  The  chiefs  of  the  Sikhs,  who  are  very 
warlike  people,  and  have  often  licked  the  Afghans, 
say  they  will  not  consent  to  be  ruled  by  such  a  person, 
— thereon  hangs  the  matter.  A  large  force  has  been 
gradually  concentrating  at  Delhi,  Meerut,  Loodiana, 
and  all  the  north-west  stations  in  Bengal,  ready  to 
march  into  the  Punjab  in  case  of  Runjet's  death, 
which  has  been  long  expected ;  and  we  very  likely 
shall  make  an  advance  by  the  line  of  the  Cabool  river 

F  3 


to  Peshawur,  and  Attock,  on  the  Indus.  It  is  rather 
late  to  begin  a  campaign  after  marching  more  than  a 
thousand  miles,  and  not  meeting  an  enemy  except 
robbers.  If  I  ever  do  get  home  safe  and  sound  after 
all  this  work,  I  shall  consider  myself  very  lucky. 

July  Z\st. — Here  we  are,  our  first  day's  march  to 
Cabool.  Reports  still  flying  about  as  to  whether  Dost 
means  to  fight.  I  wore  the  pistols  you  gave  me  in 
London  at  the  storming, — they  are  a  capital  pair! 
The  post  goes  directly,  so  I  must  conclude,  with  best 
love  to  all,  your  very  affectionate  son, 

T.  W.  E.  HoLDSWORTH. 

P.S. — They  say  Shah  Shooja  will  give  us  all 
medals  when  everything  is  settled ;  those  for  the 
officers  to  be  a  small  gold  one,  with  an  impression  of 
the  Fort  of  Ghuzni ;  those  for  the  soldiers  to  be  silver, 
and  the  same  pattern.  If  you  look  into  the  military 
papers  when  this  reaches  you,  I  dare  say  you  will  find 
further  accounts  of  the  business. 

Note. — "  It  was  arranged  that  an  explosion  party,  consisting  of 
three  officers  of  engineers  (Capt.  Peat,  Lieuts,  Durand  and  M'Leod), 
three  Serjeants  and  eighteen  men  of  the  sappers  in  working  dresses, 
carrying  three  hundred  pounds  of  powder  in  twelve  sand  bags,  with 
a  hose  seventy-two  feet  long,  should  be  ready  to  move  down  to  the 
gateway  at  break  of  day. 

"  So  quickly  was  the  operation  performed,  and  so  little  was  the 
enemy  aware  of  the  nature  of  it,  that  not  a  man  of  the  party  was 
hurt." — From  Memoranda  of  Capt.  Thompson,  R.E.,  Chief  Engineer, 
Army  of  Indus. 



Memorandum. — I  have  lost  this  letter,  which  I 
regret  the  more,  because  it  gave  a  very  full  account 
both  of  Cabool  and  its  environs,  as  well  as  of  many 
interesting  circumstances  which  took  place  during  the 
time  the  Bombay  division  of  the  army  remained 

As  far  as  I  remember  its  contents,  it  began  with  the 
march  of  the  army  from  Ghuzni  to  Cabool,  the  de- 
sertion of  the  troops  of  Dost  Mahomed,  and  his  flight 
from  the  capital.  It  described  his  pursuit  by  a  party 
of  officers  and  cavalry,  volunteers  from  the  British 
army,  commanded  by  Captain  Outram,  who  accom- 
panied Hadjee  Khan  Kaukjer,  the  principal  chief  of 
the  country,  with  a  body  of  2000  Afghans,  who  had 
joined  Shah  Shooja  at  Ghuzni. 

It  stated,  that  after  a  few  days  had  expired,  the 
party  had  nearly  reached  the  fugitive,  when  Hadjee 
Khan  refused  to  proceed,  stating,  amongst  other  ex- 


cuses,  that  his  men  had  dispersed  to  plunder,  and  that 
he  had  not  any  means  of  preventing  it;  and  Cap- 
tain Outram  was  obliged  to  proceed  without  him.  It 
had  been  supposed  by  Shah  Shooja,  that  Hadjee 
Khan  had  been  so  committed  with  Dost  Mahomed 
that  he  might  be  safely  trusted  upon  this  occasion ; 
but  there  is  not  the  least  doubt  but  that  he  was  en- 
gaged in  correspondence  with  him  during  the  whole 
time,  and  that  Dost  Mahomed  was  thus  enabled  to 
effect  his  escape  with  his  family,  although  Captain 
Outram  with  his  party  pursued  him  as  far  as  Bamian. 
If  Hadjee  Khan  had  not  acted  in  this  most  treacher- 
ous way,  there  could  not  be  a  doubt  but  that  Dost 
Mahomed  must  have  fallen  into  the  hands  of  Captain 
Outram.  Thus  Hadjee  Khan  proved  his  double  trea- 
chery ;  for  which,  on  his  return  to  Cabool,  it  was 
understood  the  Shah  would,  have  put  him  to  death, 
but  for  the  presence  of  the  English,  upon  whose 
interference  his  sentence  was  changed  to  perpetual 
confinement  in  one  of  the  state  prisons. 

It  described,  also,  the  arrival  of  the  eldest  son  of 
Shah  Shooja,  with  the  contingent  from  Runjet  Sing ; 
his  meeting  with  his  youngest  brother  on  the  road, 
near  the  city,  who  went  out  for  that  purpose  upon  an 
elephant,  richly  caparisoned,  attended  by  a  suitable 
cortege ;  his  reception  by  the  British  army,  and 
afterwards  by  his  father,  at  the  Bala  Hissar,  where 
my  son  mixed  with  the  troops  of  the  Shah,  who  filled 
the  palace  yard,  and  was  thus  enabled  to  witness  the 

LETTER   IX.  103 

first  interview,  which  was  anything  but  that  which 
might  have  been  expected  when  the  eldest  son  arrived  at 
the  palace  to  congratulate  his  father  on  his  restoration 
to  his  throne.  The  King  was  seated  alone  in  an  open 
balcony,  slightly  raised  above  the  court,  where  his 
officers  of  state  were  ranged  on  either  side,  on  the 
ground.  The  Prince  advanced  through  a  line  of 
troops  and  public  officers,  but  did  not  raise  his  eyes 
from  the  ground.  When  he  came  near  his  father,  he 
prostrated  himself  in  submission  to  the  King,  who 
called  to  him  "  that  he  was  welcome ;"  after  which 
the  son  ascended  to  the  balcony,  where  he  again  made 
a  prostration,  when  his  father  raised  him  up,  and 
seated  him  near  him.  The  peculiarly  careful  conduct 
of  the  son  on  his  approach  appears  to  have  arisen 
from  a  consciousness  of  his  father's  jealous  and  sus- 
picious temper,  and  a  fear  lest  even  a  smile  inter- 
changed with  a  friend  at  the  court  might  be  construed 
into  hidden  treachery.  Soon  after  this,  the  chief  per- 
sons of  the  court  made  their  salutations  to  the  King, 
to  each  of  whom  he  said  a  few  words,  and  the  cere- 
mony was  ended. 

My  son  added,  that  he  little  expected  when  he 
was  at  the  levee  of  his  late  Majesty  King  William, 
before  he  left  England,  that  the  next  ceremony  of  the 
sort  at  which  he  should  be  present  would  be  that  of 
the  King  of  Afghanistan,  in  Central  Asia,  a  person 
with  whose  name  and  country  he  had  not  then  the 
slightest  acquaintance. 


The  youngest  son  of  Shah  Shooja,  whom  I  have 
mentioned,  is  described  as  a  beautiful  boy,  under 
twelve  years  of  age,  ruddy  and  fair  as  an  English 
child.  He  is  a  great  favourite  with  his  father  at  pre- 
sent, and  usually  accompanies  the  Shah  wherever  he 
goes.  His  childhood  probably  protects  him  from 
suspicion  of  treachery  or  intrigue. 

My  son  appeared  to  have  mixed  occasionally  with 
the  inhabitants  of  Cabool,  and,  through  the  introduq- 
tion  of  the  Persian  interpreter,  to  have  become  per- 
sonally acquainted  with  some  of  the  leading  persons  of 
the  city.  They  are  described  by  him  as  being  parti- 
cularly affable  and  civil  to  the  officers  of  our  army, 
with  some  of  whom  he  paid  a  visit  to  a  man  of  rank, 
at  his  country-house,  and  with  whom  they  dined. 
Nothing  could  exceed  the  attention  of  their  host.  He 
shewed  them  his  stud,  consisting  of  more  than  fifty 
horses,  and  every  other  thing  that  he  possessed,  (ex- 
cept his  women,)  and  the  hospitality  and  good  fare 
was  unbounded.  Neither  was  the  curiosity  of  these 
persons  less  in  inquiring  minutely  into  everything 
they  saw  when  they  visited  the  officers  in  the  camp, 
than  their  desire  to  please  in  their  own  houses ; 
and  he  appeared  to  have  left  the  place  with  a  most 
favourable  impression  of  the  upper  ranks  of  the 

Of  the  city  itself,  its  magnificent  bazaar,  filled  with 
the  richest  manufactures  of  the  East,  its  gardens 
abounding  with  the  finest  fruits  in  the  world,  and  the 

LETTER   IX.  105 

fertile  country  that  surrounds  it,  his  description  is 
the  same  as  that  which  will  be  found  much  more  at 
length  in  the  Travels  of  Lieut.  Burnes,  in  1832. 

Cricket  and  horse-racing  appeared  to  be  the  chief 
recreation  of  the  army  during  the  time  it  remained 
inactive;  and  the  two  divisions  having  fortunately 
come  from  different  Presidencies,  the  same  spirit  of 
rivalry  amongst  the  officers,  in  the  sports  of  the  camp, 
was  as  naturally  excited  at  Cabool  as  in  any  of  the 
counties  or  garrisons  of  their  native  land. 

The  evening  before  they  left  their  ground,  two 
miles  from  Cabool,  he  was  sent  with  a  subaltern's 
party  to  search  through  all  the  worst  parts  of  the 
city  for  men  who  were  missing  from  the  camp,  but 
after  spending  many  hours,  he  returned  without  find- 
ing any.  They  had  been  paid  the  day  before,  and 
had  got  away  to  the  liquor-shops  ;  but  all  turned  up 
in  the  morning  except  one,  whose  body  was  found 
murdered,  near  the  camp. 




Camp  at  Kotree,  in  Cutch  Gundava, 
December  8tli,  1839. 

My  dear  Father, — As  I  am  now  tolerably  re- 
covered, and  my  wounds  nearly  healed,  I  take  the 
first  opportunity  (as  my  arm  is  losing  its  stiff- 
ness) of  writing  to  you,  as  I  have  no  doubt  you 
will  be  very  anxious  to  hear  how  I  am  going  on.  I 
desired  Stisted,  the  day  after  the  taking  of  Kelat, 
to  write,  as  I  was  myself  then  unable.  I  have  no 
doubt  but  that  he  did  so;  yet  I  know  you  must 
have  been  anxious  before  you  heard  the  final  result ; 
and  I  am  now  happy  to  inform  you  that  I  am  get- 
ting rapidly  well,  and  expect  in  a  short  time  to  be  out 
of  the  ^'  sick  list."  My  wound  was  esteemed  a  rather 
ugly  one  at  first ;  and  I  must  consider  it  one  of  the 
most  fortunate  cases  of  Providence  that  the  bullet 
took  the  direction  it  did,  as  had  it  swerved  in  the 
least  degree  it  must  have  gone  through  my  lungs,  or 

LETTEa   X.  107 

downward  through  my  liver;  and  in  either  case 
would  most  likely  have  done  my  business  completely. 
As  the  man  who  fired  at  me  was  so  very  close,  the 
ball  went  clear  through,  and  so  saved  me  from  the 
unpleasant  process  of  having  it  extracted  by  the  doctor, 
&c.  I  had  my  right  flank  exposed  to  the  man  who 
pinked  me,  and  so  the  ball  passed  through  my  right 
arm  into  my  right  side,  and  passing  downwards  to  the 
rear,  came  out  at  my  back,  about  an  inch  from  the 
back-bone.  Had  it  passed  to  the  front  instead  of  to 
the  rear,  I  should  have  most  assuredly  left  my  bones 
at  Kelat :  as  it  was,  from  my  coughing  up  a  toler- 
able quantity  of  blood  when  I  was  first  hit,  the  doc- 
tor imagined  that  my  lungs  had  been  affected,  and  for 
a  couple  of  days,  as  I  have  since  heard,  was  very 
doubtful  as  to  my  eventual  recovery.  However,  I 
may  now,  I  believe,  consider  myself  completely  out 
of  the  wood. 

I  find  I  have  not  written  since  the  last  day  I  was 
at  Cabool ;  and  I  have  had  few  opportunities  of  doing 
so,  as  we  have  been  on  the  move  ever  since,  and 
until  we  reached  Kelat  there  was  very  little  to  write 
about.  We  broke  ground  and  marched  to  the  other 
side  of  Cabool  on  Monday,  the  16th  of  September, 
and  halted  on  the  17th  for  a  grand  tomasha  at  the 
Bala  Hissar,  or  Shah's  Palace,  being  no  less  than  the 
investiture  of  the  order  of  the  Doorannee  Pearl,  which 
was  conferred  by  Shah  Shooja  on  the  big-wigs  of 
the  army.     Sir  John  Keane,  Sir  Willoughby  Cotton, 


and  Mr.  Macnaghten  get  the  first  order;  generals 
of  divisions  and  brigadiers,  the  second ;  and  all  field 
officers  engaged  at  Ghuzni  and  heads  of  depart- 
ments, the  third ;  for  the  rest,  all  officers  engaged  at 
Ghuzni  get  a  gold  medal,  and  the  soldiers  a  silver 
one :  however,  all  this  depends  on  the  will  and  sanc- 
tion of  Queen  Victoria. 

On  Wednesday,  the  18th,  we  took  our  final  leave 
of  Cabool  and  its  beautiful  environs,  and  reached 
Ghuzni  on  the  26th,  where  we  halted  two  days,  and 
then  struck  off  in  a  new  direction,  straight  across  coun- 
try to  Quettah,  by  a  new  road,  and  very  little  known, 
leaving  Candahar  to  our  right,  and  thereby  cutting  off 
a  considerable  angle.  Our  object  in  doing  this  was,  be- 
sides saving  distance,  to  afford  assistance,  if  required,  to 
Captain  Outram,  who  had  preceded  us  by  about  a 
week,  and  was  gone  with  some  of  the  Shah's  force  into 
the  Ghiljee  country,  and  was  employed  in  destroying 
the  forts,  &c.,  of  some  of  the  refractory  Ghiljee  chiefs. 
He  captured  one  fort,  in  which  were  found  forty  or 
fifty  fellows  who  were  identified  as  being  the  same 
men  who  had  murdered  so  many  camp  followers  and 
some  of  our  officers  during  our  march  through  the 
country.  I  saw  them  at  Ghuzni,  where  they  were 
under  confinement,  and  about  to  be  executed  in  a  few 
days,  as  I  was  told.  About  eight  marches  from- 
Ghuzni,  Outram  sent  to  General  Willshire  for  as- 
sistance, as  his  force  was  not  sufficient ;  he  was  then 
before  the  largest  of  these  hill  forts,  belonging  to  one 

LETTER   X.  109 

of  the  most  influential  and  refractory  of  the  chiefs, 
and  who  had  given  us  a  great  deal  of  annoyance  in 
our  way  up.  A  wing  of  the  19th  Native  Infantry, 
some  Artillery,  and  the  Light  Companies  were  there- 
fore sent  to  his  assistance ;  but  they  made  a  miserable 
failure,  as  the  chief,  putting  himself  at  the  head  of 
about  a  hundred  faithful  followers,  dashed  through 
their  pickets  at  night,  and  made  his  escape  with  all  his 
valuables,  and  without  losing  a  man.  We  marched  at 
an  easy  pace,  detaching  a  force  now  and  then  to  take 
a  fort,  which  was  invariably  found  deserted  on  our 
approach.  Nevertheless,  we  had  hard  work  of  it,  as 
our  route  lay  through  and  over  high  and  barren  moun- 
tains, with  scarcely  an  inhabitant  or  village  to  be  seen, 
and  nothing  to  be  got  for  our  cattle.  For  three  days 
my  horse,  and  those  of  most  of  us,  lived  on  bushes 
and  rank  grass  that  we  found  occasionally.  We  had 
to  depend  on  our  commissariat  for  everything ;  and 
they  found  it  difficult  to  supply  grain  for  the  staff 
and  field  officers'  horses,  so,  of  course,  ours  were  quite 
left  out  of  the  question.  Guns,  powder,  and  shot 
were  in  great  requisition;  and,  luckily,  hares  and 
Khorassan  partridges  were  tolerably  abundant.  At 
times,  even  our  guides  confessed  themselves  at  fault, 
so  difficult  was  it  to  make  our  way  through  such 
a  country.  However,  one  thing  was  greatly  in 
our  favour — we  had  a  splendid,  bracing  climate  the 
whole  way,  the  nights  and  mornings  being  "  rayther'^ 
too  cold,  the  thermometer  ranging  at  that  time  be- 


tween  20  and  30  degrees.  The  poor  Sepoys  and 
camp-followers,  however,  suiFered  severely.  We  ex- 
perienced scarcely  the  slightest  annoyance  from  the 
inhabitants,  although  we  passed  through  the  most  dis- 
affected part  of  the  country — viz.,  the  Ghiljee  country, 
and  latterly  through  the  heart  of  the  Kauker  country, 
whose  chief,  Hadjee  Khan  Kauker,  is  a  prisoner  at 
Cabool,  as  I  told  you  in  my  former  letter. 

At  length,  on  the  31st  of  October,  we  reached 
Quettah,  where  we  were  delighted  to  find  a  few  Parsee 
merchants,  who  had  come  up  from  Bombay,  and  from 
whom  we  were  enabled  to  get  a  few  European  com- 
forts, in  the  shape  of  brandy,  gin,  wine,  tea,  pickles, 
&c.,  which  we  had  long  been  without ;  even  milk 
and  butter  were  luxuries  to  us. 

General  Willshire  now  ordered  the  31st  Bengal 
Native  Infantry,  which  had  been  left  here  in  our 
march  up,  together  with  H.  M.  17th,  and  a  small  de- 
tail of  Artillery,  to  proceed  to  Kelat,  under  Colonel 
Baumgardt,  our  Brigadier.  The  31st  were  to  garri- 
son it ;  and  the  17th  were  sent  because  Mehrab  Khan, 
the  Kelat  chief,  had  declared  that  "  he  would  not 
surrender  to  any  but  European  troops,  and  see  the 
Sepoys  d — d  first,  if  they  came  alone."  However,  no 
resistance  was  expected,  as  Mehrab  had  been  offered 
very  liberal  terms,  which  he  had  apparently  accepted. 
The  rest  of  the  force  was  to  go  down  by  the  Bolan 
Pass,  and  wait  at  Bukkur,  or  somewhere  in  Upper 
Sinde,  till  joined  by  the   17th.     However,  the  next 

LETTER   X.  Ill 

day  a  new  order  came  out,  and  the  Queen's,  together 
with  a  stronger  detail  of  Artillery,  were  ordered  to  re- 
inforce the  detachment  to  Kelat, 

Well ;  we  marched  on  the  5  th  of  November ;  and 
the  next  day,  after  we  had  reached  our  ground,  when 
we  had  just  sat  down  to  breakfast,  great  was  our 
surprise  to  see  General  Willshire  himself  ride  into 
camp  with  a  few  of  his  staff.  All  we  could  learn  on 
the  subject  was,  that  on  that  morning,  which  was  the 
day  fixed  for  the  rest  of  the  division  to  begin  their 
march  down  the  Bolan  Pass,  and  just  as  they  were 
about  to  start,  the  General  sent  for  his  Adjutant 
and  Quarter-master-general,  and,  taking  them  and  his 
Aides  with  him,  started  for  our  camp.  Things  now 
looked  a  little  more  warlike ;  still  we  experienced  no 
annoyance  during  the  whole  march;  few  of  us  but 
thought  that  on  our  approach  Mehrab  Khan  would 
give  in. 

We  halted  a  day  at  Mostrong,  which  was  about 
half  way,  and  here  General  Willshire  and  the  poli- 
tical agent  communicated  with  the  Khan,  who  re- 
plied,  that  "  as  to  the  terms,  he  was  willing  to  meet 
General  Willshire  half  way,  with  a  small  escort,  and 
there  talk  them  over  ;  but  that  if  we  advanced  against 
him  with  an  army,  he  should  shut  his  gates,  and  we 
should  find  him  at  the  door  of  his  citadel  with  his 
drawn  sword."  There  was  "  no  mistake  about  that 
'ere,"  as  Sam  Weller  would  say.  However,  most  of 
us  thought  it  was  merely  bravado,  as  our  progress  was 


not  molested  at  all;  this,  however,  was  afterwards 
accounted  for  by  the  Khan's  having  called  in  all  his 
fighting-men  to  his  standard. 

The  last  three  da3^s  before  arriving  at  Kelat  we 
marched  in  order  of  battle,  and  had  strong  pickets  at 
night,  the  whole  force  sleeping  on  their  arms,  and 
ready  to  fall  in  at  a  moment's  notice. 

On  the  12th  we  were  within  eight  miles  of  the  fort ; 
and  on  our  arriving  on  our  ground  a  few  horsemen 
were  observed  reconnoitring  us,  who  fired  on  our  ad- 
vance, but  retired  leisurely  on  the  approach  of  the 
column.  By  that  hour  the  next  day  "  Kelat  was 
prize  money."  We  strongly  expected  to  be  attacked 
that  night,  and  were  all  ready  for  a  shindy;  the 
artillery  loaded  with  grape,  and  port- fires  lighted,  &c. 
However,  it  passed  over  very  quietly ;  but  we  had 
hardly  marched  a  mile  from  our  encampment  the 
next  morning,  when,  in  an  opening  through  the  hill 
to  our  right,  we  observed  a  large  cloud  of  dust,  which 
we  soon  discovered  to  be  raised  by  a  strong  body  of 
horsemen.  They  were  about  a  mile  and  a  half  from 
our  flank,  and  kept  moving  on  in  a  parallel  line  with 
our  column.  However,  at  a  point  where  the  road 
took  a  turn  towards  the  hills  they  halted,  at  about  150 
yards  from  the  advance  guard,  and  deliberately  fired 
into  them  with  their  matchlocks,  but  at  too  great  a 
distance  to  do  much  harm.  One  company  from  the 
advance  was  sent  to  dislodge  them ;  upon  which  they 
moved  quickly   down  towards  the  main  body,   and 

LETTER   X.  113 

taking  up  a  position  at  about  the  same  distance  from  us 
as  before  from  the  advance,  gave  us  the  same  salute  as 
they  had  before  treated  those  in  front  to.  Their 
balls  came  whistling  in  upon  us  on  all  sides,  and 
knocked  up  the  dust  like  drops  of  rain,  but  no  damage 
was  done  ;  they  then  galloped  off.  It  was  a  great 
pity  we  had  no  more  cavalry  with  us  ;  only  fifty  Ben- 
gal, or  Irregular  Horse,  and  their  cattle  were  so  done 
up  that  they  were  perfectly  useless.  The  enemy 
laughed  at  the  advance  companies  that  were  now  sent 
out  to  skirmish  with  them.  The  ground  consisted  of 
undulating  hills,  and  rather  rough,  over  which  our 
skirmishers,  encumbered  as  they  were  with  knap- 
sacks and  other  absurdities,  "  selon  les  regies,"  found 
it  very  difficult  to  move  quickly,  and  the  enemy, 
riding  their  sure-footed  horses  to  the  top  of  one  of 
those  hills,  would  fire  down,  and  wheel  round,  and  be 
under  cover  of  the  other  side  of  the  hill  before  our 
men  could  return  the  compliment  effectually.  If  we 
had  had  a  squadron  of  Dragoons  with  us,  lightly 
equipped,  the  result  would  have  been  very  different. 
But,  unfortunately,  the  only  time  during  nearly  the 
whole  campaign  when  cavalry  would  have  been  of  im- 
portant service  to  us  we  were  without  them.  How- 
ever, very  little  blood  is  ever  shed  in  desultory  affairs 
of  this  sort,  and  they  only  wounded  about  three  or 
four  of  our  men  ;  and  at  one  place,  a  party  of  them 
coming  unexpectedly  upon  the  reserve  of  the  skir-. 
mishers,  two  sections  opened  a  fire  upon  them,  emptied 


a  few  saddles,  and  sent  the  rest  flying.     We  with  the 
main  body  had  a  very  good  view  of  the  whole  affair, 
and  a  very  animating  scene  it  was.     Our  road  had 
hitherto  lain  through  a  valley,  about  four  miles  broad ; 
but  when  within  about  three  miles  and  a  half  from 
Kelat,  it  takes  a  sudden  turn  to  the  right,  and  leads,  for 
the  next  mile  and  a  half,  through  a  narrow  and  straight 
pass,    after   penetrating  which,    and  arriving  at  the 
debouche,  the   fortress  of  Kelat  appeared  before  us, 
frowning  defiance.     The  first  sight  of  it  had  certainly 
a  very  pretty  effect:   the  sun  had  just  burst  out,  and 
was  lighting  the  half-cultivated  valley  beneath  us,  in- 
terspersed  with   fields,    gardens,     ruinous    mosques, 
houses,  &c. ;  while  Kelat,  being  under  the  lee  of  some 
high  hills,  was  still  in  the  shade  ;  so  that,  while  all 
around  presented  a  smiling  and  inviting  appearance, 
as  if  hailing  our  approach  with  gladness,  the  fortress 
above  seemed  to  maintain  a  dark  and  gloomy  reserve, 
in  high  contrast  with  the  rest  of  the  picture ;  nor  was 
the  effect  diminished  when  a  thin  cloud  of  smoke  was 
seen  spouting  forth  and  curling  over  its  battlements, 
followed,  in  a  short  interval,  by  the  report  of  a  large 
gun,  which  came  booming  over  the  hills  towards  us. 
"  Hurrah  !  they  have  fired  the  first  shot,"  was  the  ex- 
clamation of  some  of  us,  "  and  Kelat  is  prize-money !" 
On  looking  more   minutely  at  it,    however,   it   had 
rather  an  ugly  appearance,  and  seemed,  at  that  dis- 
tance, much  more   formidable    than  Ghuzni   did  at 
the  first  view.     We  could  only  see  the  citadel,  which 

LETTER   X.  115 

was  much  more  commanding  and  difficult  of  access 
than  that  of  Ghuzni.  The  outworks,  however,  as 
we  afterwards  found,  were  not  half  so  strong ;  these 
were,  however,  hidden  from  our  view  by  two  hills, 
rather  formidable  in  appearance,  covering  the  approach 
to  the  fortress,  on  each  of  which  a  redoubt  was  erected, 
and  which  we  could  perceive  covered  with  men. 
Beneath  us  in  the  valley  the  advance  companies  were 
seen  pushing  on  to  occupy  the  gardens  and  other  inclo^ 
sures,  while  nearer  the  fort  we  could  observe  the  body  of 
cavalry  we  had  been  before  engaged  with  drawn  up, 
as  if  waiting  our  approach,  under  cover  of  the  re- 
doubts on  the  hills.  Half  way  down  the  road  leading 
into  the  valley  was  our  Artillery,  consisting  of  four 
six-pounders,  field-pieces  belonging  to  the  Shah,  and 
two  nine-inch  howitzers,  with  our  Horse  Artillery. 
Here,  also,  was  General  Willshire  and  staff,  who  now 
ordered  one  of  the  guns  to  open  on  the  horsemen,  in 
order  to  cover  the  movements  of  the  advance  com- 
panies, who  were  driving  the  enemy's  matchlock  men 
before  them  out  of  the  inclosures  in  good  style.  The 
first  shot  struck  wide  of  them,  the  second  kicked 
up  a  dust  rather  too  close  to  be  pleasant,  and  the  third 
went  slap  in  among  them,  knocking  over  a  horse  or 
two,  when  these  gallant  cavaliers  cut  their  sticks,  and 
we  saw  no  more  of  them.  We  soon  moved  into  the 
valley,  and  halted  for  a  considerable  time  at  the  foot 
of  the  hill.  We  were  here  within  three-quarters  of 
a  mile  of  the  nearest  redoubt,  and  about  a  mile  and 


116  CAMPAIGN    OF    THE    INDUS. 

half  from  Kelat  itself.  General  Willshire  now  made 
a  reconnoissance,  and  the  men  from  the  different  bag- 
gage guards  came  in  and  joined  their  respective  regi- 
ments. After  halting  here  about  an  hour,  (the  guns 
from  the  nearest  redoubt  every  now  and  then  pitching 
a  shot  rather  close  to  us,)  the  brigade-major  made 
his  appearance  with  orders  for  the  three  regiments  to 
form  in  quarter  distance  column  of  companies,  to 
attack  the  two  redoubts,  each  leaving  one  company 
with  the  colours  to  form  the  reserve.  The  17th  were 
to  attack  the  nearest  redoubt,  and  the  31st  Bengal 
Native  Infantry  to  turn  its  right,  while  we  were  to 
push  on  and  carry  the  other,  which  was  the  nearest  to 
the  fort.  At  the  same  time,  our  artillery  were  brought 
into  position,  and  covered  our  advance. 

The  plot  now  began  to  thicken,  and  altogether  the 
whole  affair  was  the  most  exciting  thing  I  ever  ex- 
perienced, and  beat  Ghuzni  out  of  the  pit.  We 
moved  steadily  on,  the  guns  from  the  redoubts  blazing 
at  us  as  fast  as  they  could  load  them  ;  but  they  were 
very  inferior  workmen,  and  only  two  shots  struck 
near  us,  one  knocking  up  the  dust  close  to  us,  and 
bounding  over  our  heads,  and  the  other  whizzing  close 
over  our  leading  company  ;  however,  they  kept  their 
ground  till  we  arrived  at  the  foot  of  the  hills,  when 
our  artillery  having  unshipped  one  of  their  guns,  and 
otherwise  deranged  their  redoubts,  they  exploded 
their  powder,  and  retired,  some  leisurely,  but  most 
in  the  greatest  disorder.     Here,  again,  we  had  occa- 

LETTER   X.  117 

sion  to  regret  having  no  cavalry,  as  a  troop  or  two 
would  have  effectually  cut  off  or  dispersed  them.  On 
reaching  the  top  of  the  hill  which  they  had  abandoned, 
we  found  ourselves  within  a  quarter  of  a  mile  of  the 
lower  end  of  the  town,  with  the  Beloochees  making 
the  best  of  their  way  towards  the  gate,  which  was 
open  to  admit  them.  Captain  Outram  here  rode  up 
to  us,  and  cried  out,  "  On  men,  and  take  the  gate 
before  they  can  all  get  in."  This  acted  like  magic 
on  the  men.  All  order  was  lost,  and  we  rushed 
madly  down  the  hill  on  the  flying  enemy,  more  like 
hounds  with  the  chase  in  view  than  disciplined  sol- 
diers. The  consequence  was,  we  were  exposed  to  a 
most  galling  fire  from  the  ramparts,  by  which  several 
of  our  best  men  were  put  hors  de  combat ;  the  fugi- 
tives were  too  quick  for  us,  and  suddenly  the  cry  was 
raised  by  our  leading  men,  "  The  gate  is  shut."  All 
was  now  the  greatest  confusion,  and  shelter  was 
sought  for  wherever  it  could  be  found.  Unluckily  a 
rush  was  made  by  the  greatest  part  of  the  regiment 
to  an  old  shell  of  a  house,  which  could  scarcely  afford 
cover  to  twenty  men,  much  less  to  the  numbers  who 
thronged  into  it,  and  who  were  so  closely  jammed  that 
they  could  not  move ;  and  so  the  outside  portion  were 
exposed  to  the  fire  from  the  left  bastion  of  the  town, 
which  completely  out-flanked  them,  and  from  which 
the  matchlock-men  kept  pouring  in  a  cool  and  most 
destructive  fire  upon  this  dense  mass  with  the  utmost 
impunity;  while  a  wide,  broken-down  doorway  in 
G  2 


the  centre  exposed  them  to  a  fire  from  another  bas- 
tion in  their  front,  if  ever  they  shewed  their  nose 
for  an  instant  to  see  how  matters  were  going  on,  or 
to  return  their  fire.  Poor  fellows!  you  may  guess 
their  situation  was  anything  but  pleasant.  The  con- 
sequences soon  began  to  shew  themselves — eight  men 
and  one  officer  (poor  Gravatt)  were  shot  dead,  and 
several  more  were  severely  wounded,  and  had  the 
artillery  been  less  expeditious  in  knocking  down  the 
gate,  the  greatest  part  of  them  would  have  been  anni- 
hilated. The  other  part  of  the  regiment  (myself  among 
the  rest)  were  more  fortunate.  Seeing  so  many  rush- 
ing to  one  place,  I  made  for  another  shelter,  about 
twenty  paces  to  the  rear,  which  consisted  of  a  long 
wall,  about  five  feet  high,  and  which  afforded  ample 
cover  to  us  all.  It  was  within  seventy  yards  of  the 
bastion  that  proved  so  fatal  to  the  other  party,  and 
from  which  they  kept  up  a  pretty  good  fire  upon  us 
whenever  we  exposed  ourselves.  However,  I  was  so 
excited  that  nothing  would  do  but  I  must  see  the 
whole  affair;  this,  however,  was  rather  foolish,  as 
every  now  and  then  they  would  direct  their  attention 
to  us,  and  send  in  a  volley,  which  would  sing  over  us 
and  knock  up  the  dust  and  the  old  wall  about  us  in 
good  style.  Simmons's  horse  (the  Adjutant's)  was 
foolishly  brought  down,  and  had  not  been  a  second 
there  when  it  was  shot  slap  through  the  hind-leg. 
The  ground  behind  us  was  raised  a  little,  so  that  the 
horse's  leg  was  in  a  line  with  and  nearly  touching  my 

LETTER   X.  119 

head  as  I  stood  looking  over  the  wall ;  on  reaching 
the  cover  we  found  four  or  five  poor  fellows  who  had 
been  wounded  in  the  rush  down  the  hill,  and  who  had 
crawled  in  here  as  well  as  they  could. 

I  had  an  excellent  view  of  the  further  proceedings 
from  this  place.     Right  above  us  on  the  redoubt,  from 
which  we  had  driven  the  enemy,  our  artillery  had 
now  established  themselves,  and  were  slapping  away 
as  hard  as  they  could  at  the  gate.     I  could  see  every 
shot  as  it  struck :  they  made  some  very  clever  shots, 
sending  the  balls  all  about  the  gate,  and  sometimes 
knocking  down  a  portion  of  the  bastion  over  it,  con- 
siderably deranging  the  operations  of  the  matchlock- 
men  who  were  in  it ;  but  still  the  old  gate  would  not 
fall.     In    the    mean   time,    the    advance    companies, 
which  had  been  in  quiet  possession  of  the  gardens, 
inclosures,  &c.,  since  the  beginning  of  the  affair,  were 
now  ordered  up  to  a  wall  about  thirty  yards  in  front 
of  the  doorway.     They  had  to  run  over  about  three 
hundred  yards  of  open  country  before  they  could  get 
to  it,  exposed  to  a  fire  from  the  bastion  over  the  door. 
I  saw  them  make  a  splendid  rush,  but  three  poor  fel- 
lows and   a   native   water-bearer   fell,   whom  I  saw 
crawl  under  cover  afterwards.     All  this  time  the  artil- 
lery were  banging  away,  but  as  they  made  so  slight 
an  impression  on  the  gate,  two  guns  of  the  Shah's 
were  moved  down  the  hill  a  little  to  our  left,  and 
within  about  one  hundred  and  fifty  yards  of  the  gate. 
They  fired  two  shots;  the  first  made  the  old  gate 


shake ;  the  second  was  more  fortunate,  and  took  it 
about  the  middle,  and  brought  it  completely  down. 
Our  men  gave  a  general  hurrah ;  and  Outram  gal- 
loping down  the  hill  at  full  speed,  gave  the  word, 
^'  Forward ;"  and  General  Willshire  came  up  to  us  at 
his  best  pace,  waving  his  hat,  "  Forward,  Queen's,"  he 
sung  out,  "  or  the  17th  will  be  in  before  you."  On 
we  rushed  again  for  the  gate  as  hard  as  we  could ; 
the  enemy  treated  us  to  one  more  volley,  by  which 
they  did  some  execution,  and  Dickenson  was  wounded 
in  his  leg,  and  then  abandoning  the  lower  defences  of 
the  town,  retreated  to  the  citadel. 

However,  on '  entering  the  gate,  we  found  matters 
not  so  easy  as  we  expected.  The  streets  were 
very  narrow  and  so  intricate  that  they  formed  a  per- 
fect labyrinth,  and  it  was  very  difficult  to  make  any 
progress  through  them.  The  men,  therefore,  soon 
got  scattered  about  and  broken  into  small  parties ; 
and  some,  I  am  afraid,  thought  of  loot,  or  plunder, 
more  than  of  endeavouring  to  find  their  way  to  the 
citadel.  I  forgot  to  mention  that  during  the  time  we 
were  under  cover,  the  17th  and  31st  Native  Infantry 
had  moved  round  the  hill  and  taken  up  a  posi- 
tion on  our  right.  These  two  regiments  were  or- 
dered forward  and  into  the  town  and  at  the  same  time 
and  the  same  gate  as  we  were.  The  whole  force, 
therefore,  entered  the  town  nearly  together.  I  fol- 
lowed with  a  party  of  our  men,  and  we  pushed  along 
as  well  as  we  could  through   streets,  by-ways,   &c. 

LETTER   X.  121 

This  was  rather  nervous  work,  as  we  never  could  tell 
what  we  had  to  expect  before  us ;  there  w^as  no  open 
enemy  to  be  seen,  but  whenever  we  came  to  an  open- 
ing exposed  to  the  citadel,  a  few  bullets  invariably 
came  whizzing  in  about  us,  and  knocked  over  a  man 
or  two ;  moreover,  having  the  recollection  of  Ghuzni 
fresh  in  our  minds,  we  expected  every  moment  a 
rush  of  some  desperate  fellows  from  the  narrow  holes 
we  passed  through.  After  groping  my  way  through 
narrow  passages  and  all  sorts  of  agreeable  places,  I 
found  myself  in  the  exact  spot  I  had  started  from — 
viz.,  the  gate  by  which  we  had  entered.  Here  a  man 
of  our  Light  Company  came  and  told  me  that  he  had 
discovered  a  way  to  the  citadel,  and  begged  me  to 
put  myself  at  the  head  of  a  few  men  there  col- 
lected. Of  course  I  did  so,  and  in  a  short  time 
we  found  ourselves  in  a  large  courtyard,  with  stables, 
&c.,  full  of  horses  and  Beloochees,  right  under  the 
windows  of  the  citadel.  These  men  cried  out  for 
"  aman,"  or  "  mercy ;"  but  the  soldiers  recollecting 
the  treachery  that  had  been  practised  at  Ghuzni  in 
a  similar  case  were  going  to  shoot  the  whole  kit  of 
them.  Not  liking  to  see  this  done,  I  stopped  their 
fire,  and  endeavoured  to  make  the  Beloochees  come 
out  of  their  holes  and  give  themselves  up.  I  was 
standing  at  this  time  in  the  centre  of  the  court,  and  had 
heard  a  few  shots  whizzing  rather  close  over  my  head, 
when  I  suddenly  received  a  shock,  which  made  me 
think  at  the  moment  I  was  smashed  to  bits,  by  a  ball 

122         CAMPAIGN  OF  THE  INDUS. 

from  a  ginjall,  or  native  wall  piece.  I  was  knocked 
senseless  to  the  ground,  in  which  state  I  suppose  I 
lay  for  a  few  minutes,  and  when  I  came  to  myself  I 
found  myself  kicking  away,  and  coughing  up  globules 
of  clotted  blood  at  a  great  pace.  I  thought  at  first 
I  was  as  good  as  done  for ;  however,  on  regaining  a 
little  strength,  I  looked  around,  and  seeing  none  of 
our  men  in  the  place,  and  thinking  it  more  than  pro- 
bable, from  what  I  knew  of  their  character,  that  the 
very  men  whom  I  had  been  endeavouring  to  save 
might  take  it  into  their  heads  to  give  me  the  "  coup 
de grace''  now  I  was  left  alone,  I  made  a  desperate 
effort?  got  on  my  legs,  and  managed  to  hobble  out, 
when  I  soon  found  some  of  our  men,  who  supported 
me  until  a  dooly  could  be  brought,  into  which  I  was 
placed,  and  was  soon  on  my  way  to  the  doctor. 

You  may  imagine  my  feelings  all  this  time  to  be 
anything  but  pleasant.  I  still  continued  coughing  up 
blood,  which  was  flowing  also  pretty  freely  from  my 
side.  The  idea  that  you  may  probably  have  only  a 
few  hours  longer  to  exist,  with  the  many  recollections 
that  crowd  into  your  mind  at  such  a  time,  is  anything 
but  a  delightful  one ;  and  the  being  so  suddenly  re- 
duced from  a  state  of  vigorous  activity  to  the  sick, 
faintish  feeling  that  came  over  me,  by  no  means  added 
to  the  agremens  of  my  situation. 

I  well  recollect  being  carried  through  the  gate, 
where  General  Willshire  with  his  staff  and  the  offi- 
cers who  had  been  left  with  the  reserve  companies 

LETTER   X.  123 

were,  and  who  all  pressed  forward  to  see  who  the 
unfortunate  fellow  in  the  dooly  was,  when  the 
low  exclamation  of  "  Poor  Holdsworth!"  and  the 
mysterious  and  mournful  shaking  of  heads  which 
passed  among  them,  by  no  means  tended  to  enliven 
my  spirits.  I  soon  reached  the  place  where  the  doc- 
tors, with  their  understrappers,  were  busily  employed 
among  the  wounded,  dying,  and  dead.  I  was  imme- 
diately stripped  and  examined,  and  then,  for  the  first 
time,  heard  that  the  ball  had  passed  through  and  out 
of  my  body.  I  also  now  discovered  that  it  had 
struck  and  gone  through  my  arm  as  well.  Being 
very  anxious,  I  begged  Hunter,  the  doctor,  to  let  me 
know  the  worst.  He  shook  his  head,  and  told  me 
"  he  thought  it  a  rather  dangerous  case,  principally 
from  my  having  spit  so  much  blood."  He  had  not 
time,  however,  to  waste  many  words  with  me,  as  he 
had  plenty  of  others  to  attend.  Dickenson,  also,  I 
found  here ;  having  been  wounded,  as  I  before  told 
you.  He  did  all  he  could  to  keep  my  spirits  up,  but, 
as  you  may  suppose,  I  felt  still  very  far  from  being 
comfortable.  Nor  were  the  various  objects  that 
met  my  eye  of  a  consolatory  nature:  men  lying, 
some  dead,  others  at  their  last  gasp,  while  the  ago- 
nizing groans  of  those  who  were  undergoing  opera- 
tions at  the  hands  of  the  hospital  assistants,  added 
to  the  horror  of  the  scene.  I  may  now  say  that  I 
have  seen,  on  a  small  scale,  every  different  feature 
of  a  fight. 

G  3 


In  the  meantime,  there  had  been  sharp  fighting  in 
the  citadel.  Our  men,  after  forcing  their  way  through 
numerous  dark  passages,  in  some  places  so  narrow 
and  low  that  they  were  forced  to  crawl  singly  on 
their  hands  and  knees,  at  length  arrived  there  ;  but 
as  there  were  a  great  number  of  approaches  to  this 
their  last  place  of  refuge,  our  men  got  broken  up  into 
small  detached  parties,  and  entered  it  at  different 
places.  One  party  reached  the  place  where  Mehrab 
Khan,  at  the  head  of  the  chiefs  who  had  joined  his 
standard,  was  sitting  with  his  sword  drawn,  &c.  The 
others  seemed  inclined  to  surrender  themselves,  and 
raised  the  cry  of  "  Aman !"  but  the  Khan,  springing 
on  his  feet,  cried,  ''  Aman,  nag !"  equivalent  to 
"  Mercy  be  d — d,"  and  blew  his  match ;  but  all  in 
vain,  as  he  immediately  received  about  three  shots, 
which  completely  did  his  business ;  the  one  that 
gave  him  the  "  coup  de  grace^^  and  which  went 
through  his  breast,  being  fired  by  a  man  of  our  regi- 
ment, named  Maxwell.  So  fell  Mehrab  Khan,  hav- 
ing fulfilled  his  promise  to  General  Willshire,  and 
died  game,  with  his  sword  in  his  hand,  in  his  own 

Other  parties,  however,  were  not  so  fortunate,  as 
each  being  too  weak,  the  enemy  generally  offered  a 
determined  resistance,  and  several,  after  giving  them- 
selves up,  finding  the  numbers  to  whom  they  had  sur- 
rendered smaller  than  they  had  at  fi^rst  appeared, 
turned  upon  them  suddenly ;  for  which,  however,  they 

LETTER   X.  125 

suffered  in  the  long-run,  as  the  soldiers,  at  last,  mad- 
dened bj  this  conduct,  refused  quarter,  and  fired  at 
once  into  whatever  party  they  met,  without  asking 
any  questions. 

At  length  the  few  survivors,  being  driven  to  their 
last  stronghold  at  the  very  top  of  the  citadel,  surren- 
dered on  condition  of  their  lives  being  granted  to  them; 
when  one  loud  and  general  ^*  hurrah !"  proclaimed 
around  that  Kelat  was  ours.  The  greatest  part  of 
the  garrison  had,  however,  before  this  managed  to 
make  their  escape  over  the  hills.  Dickenson,  while 
he  was  lying  wounded  by  my  side,  saw  quantities  of 
them  letting  themselves  down  the  walls  of  the  cita- 
del by.  means  of  ropes,  shawls,  &c. 

Dooly,  the  most  faithful  of  his  chiefs  and  followers, 
remained  by  Mehrab  Khan  to  the  last.  These  were 
all  either  taken  prisoners  or  killed.  Besides  the 
Khan  himself,  the  Dadur  chief,  who  had  been  the 
cause  of  great  annoyance  to  us  in  our  way  up,  and 
the  Governor  of  the  Shawl  district,  were  among  the 
slain.  The  only  two  men  of  his  council  of  any  note 
among  the  survivors  are  at  present  prisoners  in  our 
camp,  on  their  way  to  Bengal. 

Thus  ended  this  short,  but  decisive  affair,  which  I 
consider  to  be  a  much  more  gallant  one  than  that  of 
Ghuzni,  both  in  regard  to  the  numbers  engaged  on 
each  side  and  the  manner  in  which  it  was  taken.  We 
inerely  halted  for  an  hour,  and  then  went  slap  at  it, 

126         CAMPAIGN  OF  THE  INDUS. 

as  if  it  was  merely  a  continuation  of  our  morning's 
march.  General  Willshire  was  exceedingly  pleased 
with  the  result,  as  well  he  might  be,  and  issued  a  very 
complimentary  address  to  the  force  engaged,  the  next 
day.  I  hope  and  conclude  his  fortune  will  be  made 
by  it. 

The  loss  on  our  side  at  Kelat  was,  in  proportion,  a 
great  deal  greater  than  at  Ghuzni.  We  had  alto- 
gether about  1100  bayonets  engaged,  and  the  loss  was 
140,  being  about  one  in  seven;  of  this  loss,  the 
Queen's  bear  a  proportion  equal  to  that  of  the  other 
two  regiments  together,  having  returned  about  seventy 
in  the  butcher's  bill  out  of  280,  which  was  the  num- 
ber we  brought  into  the  field,  being  about  one  in  four. 
Out  of  thirteen  officers,  we  had  one  killed,  four  se- 
verely, and  one  slightly,  wounded ;  twenty-three  men 
were  killed,  and  forty-one  wounded,  of  whom  some 
have  died  since,  and  most  will  feel  the  effect  of  their 
wounds  till  their  dying  day,  as  the  greatest  portion  are 
body  wounds. 

With  regard  to  prize-money,  I  have  no  doubt  that 
had  things  been  even  tolerably  well  managed,  there 
would  have  been  plenty  of  it,  but  we  did  not  stay  there 
long  enough  to  search  the  place  thoroughly.  I  hear 
also  that  the  other  part  of  the  force  that  went  down 
by  the  Bolan  Pass  claim  to  share  with  us,  which  we 
do  not  allow ;  so  that,  perhaps,  it  may  get  into  the 
lawyers'  hands,  and  then  good-bye  to  it  altogether.     I 

LETTER  X.  127 

do  not  expect,  under  any  circumstances,  more  than 
100/.  Some  of  the  rooms  of  the  citadel  were  very 
handsomely  fitted  up,  particularly  one  in  the  old  fel- 
low's harem,  which  was  one  entire  mirror,  both  sides 
and  ceiling. 

We  remained  at  Kelat  till  the  21st  of  November, 
and  then  marched  by  the  Gundava  Pass  on  this 
place.  During  the  week  that  we  remained  there,  my 
wounds  continued  doing  very  well,  and  I  had  very 
little  fever ;  and  on  the  third  and  fourth  days  after  I 
was  hit,  the  doctor  considered  me  "  all  right."  On 
the  two  first  days  of  our  march,  however,  I  caught 
a  low  fever,  which  left  me  on  the  third,  and  I  have 
continued  to  grow  gradually  better  ever  since.  We 
found  the  Gundava  a  much  longer  and  more  difficult 
pass  than  that  of  the  Bolan,  and  could  get  very  little 
grain  or  supplies  either  for  ourselves  or  our  cattle. 
Our  march  was  perfectly  unmolested,  as  by  that  time 
the  new  Khan  had  arrived  at  Kelat,  and  most  of  the 
principal  chiefs  had  acknowledged  him.  I  do  not 
know,  however,  what  has  become  of  Mehrab  Khan's 
eldest  son,  a  lad  of  fifteen  years  old,  who  was  bringing 
up  a  reinforcement  to  his  father  in  our  rear,  while  we 
were  marching  on  Kelat,  but  did  not  arrive  in  the 
neighbourhood  until  after  the  place  was  taken.  He, 
however,  threatened  us  with  a  night  attack  while  we 
were  lying  in  front  of  it,  so  that  we  were  on  the  alert, 
every  one  sleeping  on  his  arms  during  the  whole  time 
we  were  there. 


"  We  laid  not  by  our  harness  bright, 
Neither  by  day  nor  yet  by  night." 

During  the  whole  of  this  time  the  weather  set  in 
dreadfully  cold^  colder  than  I  ever  experienced  it  any- 
where in  my  life  ;  sharp  frosts,  &c. 

Well ;  to  cut  the  matter  short,  yesterday,  the  7th  of 
December,  we  arrived  at  this  place,  which  is  the  same 
that  we  halted  at  for  a  week  in  our  march  up.  Here, 
at  length,  we  are  in  the  land  of  plenty,  and  enjoy 
such  luxuries  as  fresh  eggs,  butter,  milk,  vegetables, 
&c.,  with  a  gout  that  those  only  can  feel  who  have 
been  so  long  without  them  as  we  have.  We  find  the 
climate,  however,  very  hot,  and  I  am  sorry  to  say  that 
we  are  losing  many  fine  fellows  from  the  effect  of  the 
change.  It  is  very  painful  to  witness  these  poor  fel- 
lows going  off  in  this  miserable  manner,  after  surviv- 
ing the  chances  of  fire  and  steel,  and  all  the  harass- 
ing duties  they  have  had  to  perform  during  the  cam- 
paign, now  when  they  have  arrived  at  nearly  the 
very  end  of  it. 

Larkhanu,  Dec,  24:th, — I  have  delayed  sending  this 
till  our  arrival  here,  as  the  communication  between 
this  and  Bombay  is  perfectly  open,  which  might  not 
have  been  the  case  at  Kotra.  We  have  been  here 
about  a  week,  and  report  says  that  we  are  to  finish 
our  marching  here,  and  drop  down  the  riyer  to  Cura- 
chee  in  boats.  I  hope  this  may  prove  the  case,  as  I 
am  sure  we  have  had  marching  enough  for  one  cam- 
paign.    Another  report,  however,  says,  that  there  is  a 

LETTER   X.  129 

kick-up  in  the  Punjab,  and  that  we  shall  be  detained 
in  this  country  in  consequence  ;  but  I  do  not  think  it 

That  part  of  our  force  which  was  not  employed  at 
Kelat  went  down  by  the  Bolan  Pass,  and  have  suf- 
fered considerably  from  cholera,  which  luckily  we 
have  as  yet  escaped.  The  men  that  we  have  lost 
since  our  arrival  in  this  low  country  have  all  died 
from  complaints  of  the  lungs,  from  which  they  were 
perfectly  free  in  the  cold  country  above  the  hills. 
Since  writing  the  former  part  of  this  letter,  I  have  re- 
ceived a  letter  from  Kate,  dated  September  10th, 
which  I  will  answer  as  soon  I  have  finished  this 
letter  to  you. 

December  25th,  Christmas  day. — I  hope  to  spend 
this  evening  more  comfortably  than  I  did  last  year, 
when  I  was  on  out-lying  picket,  the  night  before  we 
commenced  our  first  march.  Now,  I  trust,  we  have 
finished  our  last.  We  have  luckily  met  all  our  mess 
supplies  here,  which  have  been  waiting  for  us  about 
six  months,  having  never  managed  to  get  further  than 
Bukkur.     So  now  it  is  a  regular  case  of — 

"  Who  so  merry  as  we  in  camp  ? 
Danger  over, 
Live  in  clover,"  &c. 

I  have  just  heard  that  the  order  is  out  for  our 
marching  the  day  after  to-morrow  to  the  banks  of  the 
river,  there  to  remain  till  the  boats  are  ready.  Now 
the  campaign  is  so  near  its' close,  I  feel  very  glad  that 


I  have  been  on  it,  as  it  is  a  thing  that  a  man  does 
not  see  every  day  of  his  hfe  in  these  times ;  and  I 
consider  it  to  be  more  lucky  than  otherwise  that  I 
Jiave  four  holes  in  my  body  as  a  remembrance  of  it; 
but  I  cannot  say  that  I  relish  a  longer  sojourn  in 
India,  unless  v^e  have  the  luck  to  be  sent  to  China, 
which  I  should  like  very  much,  (fancy  sacking  Fekin, 
and  kicking  the  Celestial  Emperor  from  his  throne,) 
as  I  do  not  think  the  climate  has  done  me  any  good, 
but  on  the  contrary. 

I  do  not  know  whether  these  wounds  of  mine  will 
give  me  anj  claim; — and,  talking  about  that^  I  would 
wish  you  to  inquire  whether  or  not  I  am  entitled 
to  any  gratuity  for  them.  I  hear  that  officers  returned 
^'  wounded"  on  the  list  in  the  Peninsular  Campaign, 
no  matter  how  slight  the  wound  might  have  been,  re- 
ceived a  gratuity  of  one  year's  pay  as  a  compensation  ; 
and  this,  I  think,  was  called  "  blood-money."  I  do 
not  know  how  far  this  may  be  the  case  at  present,  but 
I  do  not  think  that  120/.  ought  to  be  lost  sight  of  for 
want  of  a  little  inquiry. 

By-the-bye,  I  had  nearly  forgotten  to  say  that  I 

have  received  two  letters  from  Eliza,  which  I  will 

answer  as  soon  as  possible ;  but  I  do  not  think  it  safe 

to  keep  this  open  any  longer,  as  I  may  lose  the  mail 

to  Bombay  ;  so  must  conclude,  with  best  love  to  all  at 


Your  very  affectionate  son, 




Camp,  Larkanu,  Dec.  26th,  1839. 

My  dear  Eliza, — I  finished  and  sent  off  a  letter 
to  my  father  yesterday,  giving  an  account  of  the 
storming  of  Kelat,  and  the  wounds  I  received  in  the 
skrimmage,  and  telHng  him  of  everything  that  had 
happened  since  I  wrote  before,  which  was  the  day  we 
left  Cabool.  You  can  see  his  letter,  which  gives  a 
pretty  full  account  of  all  our  proceedings  up  to  the 
present  time. 

I  have  now  to  make  many  apologies  for  not  having 
answered  your  two  letters,  one  dated  May  29th,  giving 
an  account  of  Kate's  wedding,  and  the  other,  dated 
the  29th  of  July,  from  Bristol,  and  likewise  for  having 
forgotten  to  thank  you  for  the  money  you  were  kind 
enough  to  send  out  with  my  father's,  last  year.  I 
can  assure  you  never  came  money  more  acceptable, 
as  no  one  can  imagine  what  expenses  we  have  un- 
avoidably been  obliged  to  incur  in  this  campaign. 

132  CAMPAIGN    OF    THE   INDUS. 

which  I  suppose  has  cost  officers  more  than  any  other 
campaign  that  ever  was  undertaken.  I  think  there 
are  few  of  us  who  have  come  off  under  lOOZ.  besides 
our  pay ;  and  yet  this  was  merely  for  the  common 
necessaries  of  Kfe, — just  sufficient  to  keep  body  and 
soul  together.  I  can  assure  you  I  feel  very  much 
obliged  for  your  present,  as  also  for  the  two  letters 
which  I  received  while  on  the  march.  I  have  often 
thought  of  Brookhill  during  the  many  dreary  marches 
that  we  have  made,  and  on  the  solitary  out-lying 
pickets,  with  no  one  to  speak  to,  and  deplored  my 
unlucky  fate,  in  being  obliged  to  leave  home  just  as 
you  seem  to  be  comfortably  settled  there.  Still  I 
have  hope  that  I  may  yet  return,  some  day  or  other. 

I  can  now  give  you  more  definite  intelligence  with 
regard  to  our  movements  than  I  did  in  my  father's 
letter,  since  sending  off  which  orders  have  come  out, 
and  the  campaign,  as  far  as  our  regiment  is  concerned, 
is  decidedly  brought  to  a  close.  H.  M.  17th,  with 
Gen.  Willshire,  Baumgardt,  and  Head-quarter  Staff, 
marched  this  morning  for  Bukkur,  where  they  are  to 
remain  for  four  or  five  months,  so  report  says,  and 
longer  than  that  I  suppose,  if  their  services  are  re- 
quired. The  Queen's,  and  the  4th  Light  Dragoons, 
are  to  return  to  Bombay  as  soon  as  the  necessary  ar- 
rangements for  their  transportation  thither  &c.  are 
completed.  We  march  from  this  to-morrow  for  the 
banks  of  the  river,  about  twelve  miles,  and  shall  pro- 
bably remain  there  for  three  weeks  or  so,  until  the 

LETTER   XI.  133 

shipping  is  got  ready  in  Bombay,  when  we  shall  drop 
down  the  Indus  in  boats,  and  embark  from  Curachee 
for  the  Presidencies:  would  it  were  for  England. 
Most  of  our  married  officers  have  obtained  leave  to 
precede  the  regiment,  and  are  off  in  a  day  or  two. 

I  hope  to  see  Lieutenant-Colonel  Fane  when  we 
arrive  at  Bombay.  His  father,  Sir  H.  Fane,  has  pub- 
licly and  officially  resigned  the  commander-in- chief- 
ship  in  favour  of  Sir  Jasper  Nicolls.  Sir  Henry  has 
been  dangerously  unwell  at  Bombay ;  but  report  says 
he  is  now  getting  better.  He  intends  sailing  as  soon 
as  possible,  I  believe,  and  so  will  most  likely  be  gone 
before  we  arrive  there.  Sir  J.  Keane  has  also  resigned, 
and  is  to  be  succeded  by  Sir  Thomas  M^Mahon. 
It  is  not  quite  certain  that  we  shall  go  to  Bombay, 
as  some  say  that  we  shall  land  at  Cambay,  and  go 
up  to  Deesa,  and  others  that  we  shall  return  to 
Belgaum.  Last  night  we  received  Bombay  papers, 
giving  an  account  of  the  taking  of  Kelat.  They 
have  buttered  us  up  pretty  well,  and  seem  to  think 
it  a  much  more  gallant  affair  than  that  of  Ghuzni 
—  in  this  last  particular  they  are  only  doing  us 

Dec,  SOfh,  Camp,  Taggur  Bundur,  Banks  of  the 
Indus. — We  arrived  here  the  day  before  yesterday, 
and  are  likely  to  remain,  I  believe,  a  fortnight  or  so. 
We  muster  rather  small,  as  most  of  the  married 
officers  are  off  to-day  and  yesterday.  As  to  my 
wounds,  I  have  only  one  hole  still  open — namely,  the 
one  through  which  the  bullet  took  its  final  departure, 


and  that,  I  think,  will  be  closed  in  a  day  or  two. 
I  am  sorry  to  say  that  since  arriving  here  I  have 
caught  a  "  cruel  cold,"  from  which  I  am  suffering  se- 
verely at  present. 

By-the-bye,  there  are  a  few  incidents  connected 
with  the  taking  of  Kelat  which  I  forgot  to  mention 
in  my  letter  to  my  father.  Mehrab  Khan,  the  chief 
of  Kelat,  managed  to  send  away  all  his  harem  and 
family  on  the  morning  of  the  fight,  directly  we  were 
seen  approaching,  but  his  other  chiefs  were  not  so 
fortunate,  and  the  greater  part  of  them  deliberately 
cut  the  throats  of  all  the  females  belonging  to  their 
establishments,  including  wives,  mothers,  and  daugh- 
ters, as  soon  as  we  established  ourselves  within  the 
town,  rather  than  suffer  them  to  fall  into  the  hands 
of  us  infidels.  I  forgot,  I  think,  also,  to  mention  that 
I  managed  to  procure  rather  a  handsome  Koran, 
which  was  found  in  the  citadel,  and  also  an  excellent 
Damascus  blade,  both  of  which  I  intend  giving  to  my 
father,  and  a  few  articles  of  native  costume,  which 
would  go  far  to  make  up  a  neat  fancy  dress,  but  it  is 
not  quite  complete.  A  great  number  of  handsome 
articles  were  stolen  by  the  camp  followers  and  other 
rascals,  worse  luck  for  us  poor  wounded  officers,  who 
could  not  help  ourselves.  We  were  rather  surprised 
at  finding  some  excellent  European  articles  in  the 
shape  of  double-barrelled  guns,  pistols,  beautiful 
French  musical  boxes,  prints,  looking-glasses,  and 
pier-glasses,  &c.,  in  the  rooms  of  the  citadel.  Where 
Mehrab  Khan  could  have  picked  them  up  I  cannot 

LETTER   XI.  135 

think,  unless  they  were  the  result  of  some  successful 
foray  on  some  unfortunate  caravan. 

The  day  after  the  fight.  Captain  Outram,  of  whom 
I  have  so  often  spoken  in  my  letters  to  my  father,  vo- 
lunteered to  take  the  dispatches  to  Bombay,  and 
started  for  that  purpose  straight  across  country  to 
Someanee  Bay,  on  the  sea-coast,  a  distance  of  350 
miles,  and  across  the  barren  mountains  that  compose 
the  greatest  part  of  Beloochistan.  This  route  had  up 
to  that  time  never  been  traversed  by  any  European, 
except  Pottinger,  who  passed  through  all  these  coun- 
tries twenty'  years  ago,  disguised  as  a  native.  It  was 
attempted  last  year  by  Captain  Harris,  of  the  Bombay 
Engineers,  author  of  the  "  African  Excursions,"  a 
very  enterprising  officer,  and  who  landed  at  Some- 
anee Bay  for  that  purpose ;  but  after  getting  about 
twenty  miles  into  the  interior,  reported  the  route  as 
impracticable.  When  this  is  taken  into  consideration, 
with  the  great  chance  there  was  of  Captain  Outram's 
falling  into  the  hands  of  the  many  straggling  fugitives 
from  Kelat,  and  the  well-known  character  of  these 
gentlemen,  now  smarting  under  the  painful  feeling  of 
being  driven  from  their  homes,  &c.,  it  must  be  con- 
fessed that  it  required  no  little  pluck  to  undertake  it. 
The  plan  proved,  however,  perfectly  successful.  He 
travelled  in  the  disguise  of  an  Afghan  Peer,  or  holy 
man,  under  the  guidance  of  two  Afghan  Seyds,  a  race 
of  men  much  looked  up  to  and  respected  in  all  Ma- 
homedan  countries,  on  account  of  their   obtaining. 


[whether  true  or  not,  I  know  not]  a  pure  descent  from 
the  Prophet.  Outram  and  his  party  fell  in  with 
several  bands  of  fugitives,  and  actually  came  up  and 
were  obliged  to  travel  a  day  or  two  with  the  harem 
and  escort  of  Mehrab  Khan's  brother.  As  there  was 
a  chance  of  Outram's  being  discovered  by  this  party, 
the  Seyd  introduced  him  in  the  character  of  a  Peer, 
which  holy  disguise  he  had  to  support  during  the 
whole  journey ;  and  after  some  extraordinary  escapes 
he  arrived  at  Someanee  Bay  in  seven  or  eight  days. 

Our  sick  and  wounded  have  been  left  behind  at 
Kelat,  under  the  charge  of  an  officer  of  the  17  th, 
since  which  things  have  gone  on  very  smoothly  there. 
The  new  Khan  has  been  very  accommodating,  and 
has  given  fetes,  &c.,  to  the  officers  left  behind,  in 
honour  of  our  gallantry.  He  has  also  written  to 
General  Willshire  to  say  that  he  intends  giving  us  all 
a  medal  each,  whether  we  are  allowed  to  wear  it  or 
not,  as  he  does  not  see  why,  if  the  Shah  did  it  for 
Ghuzni,  he  might  not  do  it  also  for  Kelat.  Lord 
Auckland  has  published  an  order  that  all  regiments 
belonging  to  the  Company  that  went  beyond  the 
Bolan  Pass  shall  wear  Afghanistan  on  their  colours 
and  appointments,  and  all  engaged  at  Ghuzni  that 
name  also  ;  and  has  written  to  the  Queen  for  permis- 
sion for  Queen's  regiments  employed  in  like  manner 
to  bear  the  same.  I  suppose  we  shall  get  Kelat  in 

There  is  one  other  point  which,  in  my  hurry  to  get 

LETTER   XI.  137 

my  letter  off  in  time  for  the  January  mail,  I  totally 
forgot  to  mention — viz.,  about  drawing  some  money 
on  my  father.  I  have  before  mentioned  the  great 
expense  we  have  been  put  to  in  this  campaign ;  in 
addition  to  this,  when  we  were  ordered  from  Quettah 
to  take  Kelat,  we  were  also  under  orders  to  return  to 
Quettah  after  having  taken  the  place.  A  sergeant 
was  therefore  left  behind  at  Quettah  to  take  charge 
of  whatever  effects  any  person  might  leave,  and 
officers  were  strongly  advised  to  leave  the  greater 
part  of  their  kit  at  this  place.  I,  as  well  as  most  of 
my  brother  officers,  was  foolish  enough  to  follow  this 
advice,  and  brought  only  a  bundle  of  linen;  conse- 
quently now  I  am  almost  minus  everything ;  dress- 
coat,  appointments,  are  all  left  behind,  as  General 
Willshire,  after  the  taking  of  Kelat,  instead  of  return- 
ing to  Quettah,  proceeded  into  Cutch  Gundava  by  the 
Gundava  Pass.  Nothing  has  been  since  heard  of  what 
we  have  left  behind,  except  that  the  sergeant  could 
not  get  camels  or  carriage  sufficient  to  bring  them  down. 
Moreover,  it  is  unsafe  to  go  through  the  Bolan  Pass 
without  a  tolerably  strong  escort ;  so,  taking  all  things 
into  consideration,  I  do  not  think  there  is  much 
chance  of  our  ever  seeing  anything  of  them  again. 
The  consequences  will  be,  that,  on  our  arrival  at  Bom- 
bay, I  shall  be  obliged  to  get  an  entire  new  fit  out, 
and  as  the  campaign  has  drained  me  dry,  I  shall  be 
obliged  to  draw  upon  my  father  for  it;  however,  I 
will  repay  him  by  the  end  of  the  year,  as  by  that  time 


the  Company  will  have  given  us  half  a  year's  full 
batta,  which  they  intend  doing  as  a  sort  of  indemni- 
fication for  the  losses  we  have  sustained  on  the  cam- 
paign; my  batta  will  be  about  72Z. 

I  do  not  think  I  have  any  more  to  say,  and  as  the 
January  overland  sails  on  the  25th,  I  hope  this  letter 
will  reach  Bombay  in  time  to  go  by  it,  as  well  as  my 
father's.  By-the-bye,  how  is  old  Nelly  ?  If  she  has 
any  good  pups,  I  wish  you  would  manage  to  keep 
one  for  me,  as  I  expect  the  old  girl  will  be  either 
dead  or  very  old  by  the  time  I  return,  I  am  longing 
to  get  out  of  the  "  Sick-list,"  as  the  thickets  here 
near  the  river  are  full  of  partridges  and  hares,  and 
the  climate,  at  this  time  of  the  year,  is  very  cool  and 
pleasant.  My  rheumatism  is  much  better  since  I  was 
wounded  ;  but  I  still  have  it  in  my  left  arm.  Well,  no 
more ;  but  wishing  you,  and  all,  a  happy  new  year. 

Believe  me  ever  your  very  affectionate  brother, 




Camp,  Curachee,  Feb.  14th,  1840. 

My  dear  Father, — You  will  see,  by  my  date, 
that  our  share  of  the  campaign  is  ended ;  in  fact,  we 
are  only  waiting  here  for  shipping,  which  is  on  its 
way  from  Bombay,  to  take  us  from  this  place  to  Man- 
davie,  in  Cutch,  where  we  land,  and  then  march  im- 
mediately to  Deesa,  in  Guzerat ;  so  that,  after  all  our 
toilsome  marches,  &c.,  we  have  yet  another,  still  more 
toilsome,  before  us  of  240  miles.  The  climate  of 
Cutch  and  Guzerat  during  the  period  of  year  that  we 
shall  be  occupied  in  marching  is  so  hot  that  no 
changes  of  station  are  ever  made  even  by  native 
corps,  and  Europeans  are  never  allowed  to  march  in 
Guzerat  except  during  the  cold  months.  It  is  sharp 
work  on  our  poor  men ;  many  of  whom  appear  very 
unfit  for  it ;  but  they  are  now  so  accustomed  to  hard 
work,  that  they  will  get  well  through  it  I  have  little 



We  left  Tuggur  Bandur,  from  which  place  I  wrote 
to  Eliza  and  Kate,  on  the  13th  of  January,  and 
drifted  quietly  down  the  river  in  boats,  pulling  up 
and  coming  to  an  anchor  every  evening  at  sunset.  We 
reached  Tatta  Bundur,  about  five  miles  from  the 
town,  on  the  21st,  and  after  staying  there  a  few  days, 
started  again  for  this  place,  which  we  reached  in  five 
marches,  ori  the  31st.  We  were  immediately  most 
hospitably  entertained  by  the  officers  of  H.  M.  40th, 
which  is  an  excellent  regiment.  Here  we  have  been 
ever  since,  living  on  the  fat  of  the  land,  and  enjoy- 
ing ourselves  very  much,  after  all  our  toils.  This 
is  now  a  rather  considerable  station:  one  Queen's 
and  one  Company's  regiment,  and  detail  of  foot  ar- 
tillery, and  plenty  of  European  supplies  brought  by 
the  Bombay  merchants.  It  is  a  very  decent  climate? 
and  would  make  a  very  good  station,  I  wish  they 
would  leave  us  here  in  place  of  sending  us  to  Deesa, 
at  this  time  of  the  year.  Sir  John  Keane,  General 
Willshire,  and  the  Bombay  staff  are  expected  here  in 
a  day  or  two.  Sir  John  is  bringing  down  with  him 
Hyder  Khan,  Dost  Mahomed's  son,  who  commanded 
at  Ghuzni  when  it  was  taken.  He  is  to  be  brought 
to  Bombay,  and  as  he  is  of  a  very  quiet,  amiable 
disposition,  will,  so  report  says,  be  eventually  allowed 
to  join  his  father.  Poor  Dost,  they  say,  is  in  a  very 
bad  way,  deserted  by  nearly  all  his  followers;  but 
there  still  seems  to  be  mischief  brewing  in  the  north- 
west.    All  accounts  say  that  Bokhara  is  very  much 

LETTER  XII.  141 

inclined  to  the  Russian  interest,  and  Shah  Kamran's 
vizier  at  Herat  has  been  carrying  on  a  correspondence 
with  the  Persians,  the  object  of  which  is  said  to  be 
the  dehvery  of  Herat  into  their  hands.  The  Pun- 
jab is  also  in  a  very  unsettled  state;  so  there  are 
plenty  of  materials  for  getting  up  another  row  in 
these  countries  before  long.  War  is  most  positively 
said  to  be  decided  on  with  China,  and  seven  regi- 
ments, to  be  followed  by  a  reserve  of  equal  number, 
together  with  a  considerable  naval  force,  are  to  be 
sent  there  as  soon  as  possible.  Lord  Auckland, 
we  are  told,  has  had  carte  blanche  from  the  Home 
government  to  act  as  he  thinks  fit  with  regard  to 
China,  and  that  he  has  determined  upon  a  hostile 
movement  as  soon  as  this  campaign  is  regularly 
finished,  which  it  may  be  said  to  be  ;  so  there  will  be 
glorious  fun  there.  It  is  not  yet  known  here  what 
regiments  will  go.  I  am  afiraid  there  is  little  chance 
for  the  Queen's. 

The  4th  Light  Dragoons  have  arrived  here,  having 
come  down  by  land ;  they  are  to  return  to  their  old 
quarters  at  Kickee,  near  Poonah.  The  17th  may  also 
be  expected  in  a  few  days ;  they  are  to  occupy  our 
old  quarters  at  Belgaum.  The  18th  (Royal  Irish) 
have  come  on  from  Ceylon,  and  are  to  go  to  Poonah ; 
and  the  6th  go  home  (to  England)  as  soon  as  possible. 
This  is  understood  to  be  the  destination  of  each 
regiment,  but  this  affair  with  China  may  cause  an 


142  CAMPAIGN    OF    THE    INDUS. 

I  am  very  sorry  to  mention  the  unfortunate  death 
of  poor  little  Halkett,  one  of  my  best  friends,  and 
the  son  of  General  Halkett,  of  Hanover,  vfho  was  so 
very  civil  to  me  while  I  was  there,  and  nephew  of  Sir 
Cohn  Halkett. 

Since  we  have  been  here,  I  have  received  your  let- 
ter, dated  November  2nd,  by  which  it  appears  that 
you  had  just  then  heard  of  the  taking  of  Ghuzni. 
You  mentioned,  also,  in  it  that  you  had  received  my 
letter  from  Candahar,  which  I  am  very  glad  to  hear, 
as  I  was  very  much  afraid,  from  the  state  of  the  coun- 
try, that  it  would  never  reach  its  destination.  As  you 
mention  nothing  about  it,  I  suppose  you  had  not  re- 
ceived the  letter  I  wrote  from  Ghuzni  almost  imme- 
diately after  the  capture.  I  know  many  letters  were 
lost  about  that  time,  and  mine,  I  am  afraid,  among 
the  number.  There  is  a  report  here  (but  I  think, 
too  good  to  be  true)  that  all  officers  with  the  ad- 
vance, or  storming,  party  at  Ghuzni,  consisting  of  the 
light  companies  of  the  European  regiments,  were  to 
get  brevet  rank.  In  that  case,  as  the  company  to 
which  I  belong — ^viz.,  the  Light — was  one  of  the 
number,  and,  in  fact,  headed  the  assault,  Capt.  Holds- 
worth  would  be  my  future  rank.  Tell  Eliza  that  I  got 
her  letter,  which  was  enclosed  in  yours,  and  was  very 
much  surprised  at  its  contents. 

i  do  not  know  what  to  say  about  Deesa  as  a 
station,  reports  are  so  various  on  the  subject.  The 
heat,  I  believe,  is  awful  in  the  hot  weather,  the  ther- 

LETTER   XII.  143 

mometer  rising  to  120  in  the  houses ;  and  the  worst 
part  of  the  business  is,  that  this  heat,  which  is  occa- 
sioned by  the  hot  winds,  lasts  all  night  through ;  so 
that  the  night  is  nearly  as  hot  as  the  day.  At  other 
times  of  the  year,  I  believe,  the  climate  is  very  plea- 
sant. The  40th  give  a  very  good  account  of  it.  There 
is  a  great  quantity  of  game  there,  and  some  of  the  best 
hog-hunting  in  India.  Mount  Aboo,  called  the  Par- 
nassus of  India,  is  within  fifty  miles  of  it,  and  is  a 
great  place  of  resort  during  the  hot  weather. 

Should  this  expedition  to  China  take  place,  which 
seems  decided  upon  at  present,  what  an  immense 
power  the  English  will  eventually  have  in  the  East. 
In  a  few  years,  I  have  no  doubt  it  may  extend  from 
Herat  to  the  most  eastern  parts  of  China,  including 
all  the  islands  in  the  adjacent  seas.  Like  the  Romans, 
England  seems  to  be  extending  her  dominion  every- 
where— "  super  et  Garamantes  et  Indos,  proferet  im- 
perium,"  and  yet  what  a  row  she  kicks  up  about 
Russia.  The  French  papers  seem  to  be  rather  jealous 
about  Ghuzni.  How  the  English  papers  butter  it  up  ! 
and  yet  it  was  not  half  so  brilliant  an  affair  as  Kelat, 
nor  so  hardly  contested  ;  but  very  little  is  said  about 
the  latter. 

Enclosed,  I  send  you  a  view  of  the  north  front  of 
Kelat,  shewing  the  gate  by  which  we  entered.  It 
gives  you  a  pretty  good  idea  of  the  place,  and  was 
drawn  by  Lieutenant  Creed,  of  the  Engineers. 

I  went  yesterday  to  see  a  tank,  about  seven  miles 


from  this  place,  in  which  are  a  great  quantity  of  alli- 
gators, half  tame.  The  tank  in  which  they  are  be- 
longs to  a  Mahomedan  temple,  which  is  considered  a 
very  holy  one,  and  much  resorted  to,  and  these, 
animals  are  kept  there  by  the  priests  of  the  establish- 
ment, in  order  to  induce  a  greater  number  of  visitors. 
A  calf  was  killed  and  thrown  in  among  the  scaly  gen- 
tlemen, who  very  soon  demolished  it.  I  never  saw 
anything  so  loathesome  and  repulsive  as  these  mon- 

This  letter  goes  by  the  ^^  Hannah"  packet,  which 
sails  this  evening  for  Bombay,  and  will,  I  hope,  reach 
that  place  in  time  to  go  by  the  "  overland  packet." 
I  suppose  you  know  that  this  is  classic  ground,  and 
the  place  from  which  Nearchus,  Alexander's  admiral, 
started  on  his  return  to  the  Euphrates.  I  have  no 
time  for  more.     So,  with  love  to  all  at  home. 

Believe  me  your  aifectionate  son, 




Deesa,  April  21st,  1840. 

My  dear  Father, — I  received  your  letter,  dated 
January  18  th,  about  the  beginning  of  this  month, 
while  on  our  march  from  Mandavie  to  this  place.  I 
see  by  the  papers  that  the  news  of  the  taking  of 
Kelat  had  reached  England,  as  I  find  my  name  men- 
tioned in  the  "  Western  Luminary,"  which  came  out  in 
this  overland.  I  wrote  you  last  from  Curachee,  about 
the  beginning  or  middle  of  February.  We  stayed 
there  till  the  20th.  A  few  days  before  we  left,  Lord 
Keane  and  suite  arrived,  bringing  with  him  Hyder 
Khan,  the  captured  chief  of  Ghuzni.  While  there, 
Lord  Keane  presented  new  colours  to  the  40th  regi- 
ment, which  we  had  an  opportunity  of  witnessing. 
He  and  all  his  party  have  since  gone  home. 

On  the  20th,  I,  with  my  company  under  my  com- 
mand, embarked  for  Mandavie,  in  Cutch,  where  we 
arrived  in  two  days,  in  Patamars,  and  waited  till  the 


whole  regiment  came  down,  which  they  did  by  com- 
panies, so  that  it  was  the  10th  of  March  before  we 
were  able  to  start  for  this  place. 

We  arrived  here  on  the  4th  of  this  month,  pushing 
on  as  fast  as  we  could,  as  the  commanding  officer  was 
anxious  to  get  the  men  under  cover,  on  account  of 
the  great  heat.  There  was  excellent  shooting  the 
whole  way  up;  and  if  it  had  been  the  cold  season,  I 
should  have  enjoyed  the  march  amazingly ;  but  it 
was  too  hot  to  venture  out.  On  arrival  here  we 
found  about  three  hundred  recruits,  who  had  arrived 
since  we  went  on  service,  and  about  fifty  of  the  men 
we  left  behind  us  ;  also  seven  new  officers.  As  I  have 
a  company  under  my  command  I  have  scarcely  had  a 
moment  to  myself  since  I  have  been  here  ;  what  with 
fitting  and  getting  the  recruits  in  order,  and  new 
clothing  the  old  hands,  you  have  no  conception  what 
tedious  work  it  is  getting  into  quarters. 

I  have  bought  a  very  comfortable  little  bungalo 
for  four  hundred  rupees.  We  were  promised  our  full 
batta  on  our  arrival  here ;  but,  although  the  Ben- 
galees, it  is  said,  received  theirs  some  time  ago, 
yet  there  is  a  screw  loose,  I  fear,  somewhere  in  the 
Bombay,  and  that  it  may  be  some  time  before  we  get 
ours,  and  that  it  will  not  be  as  much  as  the  Ben- 
galees :  so  much  for  being  in  an  inferior  Presidency. 
This  is  a  great  disappointment,  after  our  losses  on  the 

With  regard  to  this  place,  I  have  not  been  long 

LETTER   XIII.*  147 

enough  in  it  to  form  an  opinion.  Its  appearance  is 
decidedly  against  it,  the  soil  being  nothing  but  a 
barren  sandy  desert,  with  the  low  hills  of  the  Ara- 
vulles  to  the  eastward,  running  north  to  the  mountain 
Aboo,  the  Parnassus  of  Hindostan.  The  last  week 
has  been  oppressive,  and  hot  in  the  extreme;  and 
this  is  but  the  commencement  of  the  hot  w^eather, 
which  I  am  told  will  last  about  six  weeks  longer,  when 
a  very  slight  monsoon  comes  on,  and  lasts  at  intervals 
till  the  end  of  October,  when  the  cold  season  com- 
mences, which  is  said  to  be  very  pleasant.  There  is  a 
lot  of  game  here  of  every  description,  including  lions ; 
and  it  is  one  of  the  best  hog-hunting  stations  in 

Our  men,  to  the  surprise  of  everybody,  were  very 
healthy  in  the  march  up ;  and  since  they  have  been 
here,  and  not  having  their  knapsacks  to  carry, 
knocked  off  their  work  in  grand  style.  The  men  we 
have  brought  back  with  us  are  well-seasoned,  hardy 
fellows,  and  I  would  back  them  to  march  against  any 
soldiers  in  the  world, 

I  suppose  you  have  long  ere  this  received  Stisted's 
letter  and  mine  about  Kelat.  Colonel  Arnold*  died 
at  Cabool  whilst  we  were  there,  and  was  buried  with 
a  magnificent  military  funeral  in  the  Armenian  burial- 

*  Colonel  Arnold  was  in  the  10th  Hussars  at  Waterloo,  and  shot 
through  the  body  in  the  charge  in  which  Major  Howard,  of  that  re- 
giment, was  killed. 

H   3 


ground.  I  am  sorry  to  say  that,  as  I  predicted,  the 
spear  which  I  took  at  the  storming  of  Ghuzni  has 
been  broken  to  pieces  through  the  carelessness  of  my 
servants.  I  have,  however,  the  Koran  and  sword 
from  Kelat;  and  I  think  I  shall  be  able  to  get  a 
matchlock  taken  at  that  place, — a  very  good  specimen 
of  the  sort  of  thing  I  was  wounded  by ;  perhaps  it 
may  be  the  identical  one.  The  sword  I  left  in 
Cutch,  in  my  way  up  from  Mandavie,  to  be  put  to 
rights,  as  the  workmen  of  that  country  are  the  best  in 
India.  I  will  try  if  I  can  get  another  weapon,  as  a 
remembrance  of  Ghuzni.  I  brought  down  from 
Cabool  as  far  as  Quettah  a  very  good  specimen  of 
the  Kyber  knife,  a  very  cut-throat  sort  of  instrument, 
with  which  every  Afghan  is  armed.  I  sent  it  down 
with  my  other  things  through  the  Bolan  Pass,  when 
we  turned  off  to  Kelat,  and  I  am  sorry  to  say  it  was 

You  write  about  old  *****:  did  I  never  men- 
tion him  to  you  ?  He  is  here ;  but  was  not  with  us 
on  the  campaign,  being  too  unwell  when  we  started. 
Though  not  an  old  man,  he  is  a  very  old  soldier  for 
an  Indian,  and  is  nearly  worn  out :  he  is  anxious  to 
get  his  discharge  at  the  end  of  the  year,  when  he  will 
have  served  his  twenty-one  years,  and  be  entitled  to 
a  decent  pension.  He  is  a  very  straight-forward, 
blunt,  honest  old  fellow,  and  when  he  first  joined  was 
a  very  powerful  man,  and  the  best  wrestler  in  the  re- 
giment, thereby  proving  his  South  Devon  blood.    He 


*  's  servant  when  I  joined,  and  I  was 
delighted  at  hearing  the  South  Devon  dialect  again, 
which  he  speaks  with  so  much  truth  and  native 
elegance  that  you  would  imagine  he  had  but  just  left 
his  native  village.  There  were  a  great  many  Devon- 
shire men  in  the  regiment ;  we  lost  one,  a  very  fine 
young  man  in  the  Grenadiers,  in  coming  down  from 
Kelat  to  Cutch  Gundava,  by  the  same  chest  com- 
plaint that  carried  off  so  many :  he  was  a  native  of 

Well ;  it  is  twelve  o'clock,  and  I  am  afraid  I  shall 
be  too  late  for  the  post ;  so  good  bye. 

Your  affectionate  son, 





{From  the  Bombay  Government  Gazette  Extraordinary  of 
August  29thy  1839.) 


Bombay  Castle,  Aug.  29th,  1839. 
The  Honourable  the  Governor  in  Council  has  the  highest  satisfac- 
tion in  republishing  the  following  notification  issued  by  the  Right 
Honourable  the  Governor-General,  announcing  the  capture  by  storm 
of  the  town  and  fortress  of  Ghuzni,  as  also  the  general  order  issued 
on  the  occasion  by  his  Excellency  Lieu  tenant-General  Sir  John 
Keane,  K.C.B.  and  G.C.H.,  Commander-in-Chief  of  the  Army  of 
the  Indus.     By  order  of  the  Honourable  the  Governor  in  Council, 

L.  R.  Reid,  Acting  Chief  Secretary, 


Simla,  August  18th,  1839. 
The  Right  Hon.  the  Governor-General  of  India  has  great  gratifi- 
cation in  publishing,  for  general  information,  a  copy  of  a  report  this 


day  received  from  his  Excellency  Lieutenant-General  Sir  John 

Keane,  K.C.B.,  Commander-in-Chief  of  the  Army  of  the  Indus, 

announcing  the  capture,  by  storm,  on  the  23d  ult.,  of  the  important 

fortress  of  Ghuzni. 

A  salute  of  twenty-one  guns  will  be  fired  on  the  receipt  of  this 

intelligence  at  all  the  principal  stations  of  the  army  in  the  three 

Presidencies.     By  order  of  the  Right  Hon.  the  Governor-General 

of  India, 

(Signed)  T.  H.  Maddock, 

Officiating  Secretary  to  the  Government  of 
India,  with  the  Governor-General. 

TO    THE    RIGHT    HON.    LORD    AUCKLAND,    G.C.B.,  ETC. 

My  Lord, — I  have  the  satisfaction  to  acquaint  your  Lordship  that 
the  army  under  my  command  have  succeeded  in  performing  one  of 
the  most  brilliant  acts  it  has  ever  been  my  lot  to  witness  during  my 
service  of  forty-five  years  in  the  four  quarters  of  the  globe,  in  the 
capture,  by  storm,  of  the  strong  and  important  fortress  and  citadel 
of  Ghuzni  yesterday. 

It  is  not  only  that  the  Afghan  nation,  and,  I  understand,  Asia 
generally  have  looked  upon  it  as  impregnable  ;  but  it  is  in  reality 
a  place  of  great  strength,  both  by  nature  and  art,  far  more  so  than  I 
had  reason  to  suppose  from  any  description  that  I  had  received  of 
it,  although  some  are  from  officers  in  our  own  service  who  had  seen 
it  in  their  travels. 

I  was  surprised  to  find  a  high  rampart  in  good  repair,  built  on  a 
scarped  mound  about  thirty -five  feet  high,  flanked  by  numerous 
towers,  and  surrounded  by  a  fausse  brayze  and  a  wet  ditch,  whilst 
the  height  of  the  citadel  covered  the  interior  from  the  commanding 
fire  of  the  hills  from  the  north,  rendering  it  nugatory.  In  addition 
to  this,  screen  walls  had  been  built  before  the  gates,  the  ditch  was 
filled  with  water,  and  unfordable,  and  an  outwork  built  on  the  right 
bank  of  the  river  so  as  to  command  the  bed  of  it. 


It  is  therefore  the  more  honourable  to  the  troops,  and  must  ap- 
pear to  the  enemy  out  of  all  calculation  extraordinary,  that  a  fortress 
and  citadel  to  the  strength  of  which,  for  the  last  thirty  years,  they 
had  been  adding  something  each  year,  and  which  had  a  garrison  of 
3500  Afghan  soldiers,  commanded  by  Prince  Mahomed  Hyder,  the 
son  of  Dost  Mahomed  Khan,  the  ruler  of  the  country,  with  a  com- 
manding number  of  guns,  and  abundance  of  ammunition,  and  other 
stores,  provisions,  &c.,  for  a  regular  siege,  should  have  been  taken 
by  British  science  and  British  valour  in  less  than  two  hours  from 
the  time  the  attack  was  made,  and  the  whole,  including  the  go- 
vernor and  garrison,  should  fall  into  our  hands. 

My  dispatch  of  the  20th  instant,  from  Nanee,  will  have  made 
known  to  your  Lordship  that  the  camps  of  his  Majesty  Shah  Shooja- 
ool-Moolk,  and  of  Major-General  Willshire,  with  the  Bombay 
troops,  had  there  joined  me  in  accordance  with  my  desire,  and  the 
following  morning  we  made  our  march  of  twelve  miles  to  Ghuzni, 
the  line  of  march  being  over  a  fine  plain.  The  troops  were  disposed 
in  a  manner  that  would  have  enabled  me  at  any  moment,  had  we 
been  attacked,  as  was  probable,  from  the  large  bodies  of  troops 
moving  on  each  side  of  us,  to  have  placed  them  in  position  to  re- 
ceive the  enemy.  They  did  not,  however,  appear;  but  on  our  com- 
ing within  range  of  the  guns  of  the  citadel  and  fortress  of  Ghuzni, 
a  sharp  cannonade  was  opened  on  our  leading  column,  together  with 
a  heavy  fire  of  musketry  from  behind  garden  walls,  and  temporary 
field-works  thrown  up,  as  well  as  the  strong  outwork  I  have  already 
alluded  to,  which  commanded  the  bed  of  the  river  from  all  but  the 
outwork.  The  enemy  were  driven  in  under  the  walls  of  the  fort  in 
a  spirited  manner  by  parties  thrown  forward  by  Major-General  Sir 
Willoughby  Cotton,  of  the  16th  and  48th  Bengal  Native  Infantry, 
and  her  Majesty's  13th  Light  Infantry,  under  Brigadier  Sale.  I  or- 
dered forward  three  troops  of  horse  artillery,  the  camel  battery,  and 
one  foot  battery,  to  open  upon  the  citadel  and  fortress,  by  throwing 
shrapnel  shells,  which  was  done  in  a  masterly  style  under  the  di- 
rection of  Brigadier  Stephenson.     My  object  in  this  was  to  make 


the  enemy  shew  their  strength  in  guns,  and  in  other  respects,  which 
completely  succeeded,  and  our  shells  must  have  done  great  execu- 
tion, and  occasioned  great  consternation.  Being  perfectly  satisfied 
on  the  point  of  their  strength  in  the  course  of  half  an  hour,  I  ordered 
the  fire  to  cease,  and  placed  the  troops  in  bivouac.  A  close  recon- 
noissance  of  the  place  all  around  was  then  undertaken  by  Captain 
Thomson,  the  chief  engineer,  and  Captain  Peat,  of  the  Bombay 
Engineers,  accompanied  by  Major  Garden,  the  Deputy  Quarter- 
master-General of  the  Bombay  army,  supported  by  a  strong  party  of 
her  Majesty's  16th  Lancers,  and  one  from  her  Majesty's  18th  Light 
Infantry.  On  this  party  a  steady  fire  was  kept  up,  and  some 
casualties  occurred.  Captain  Thomson's  report  was  very  clear;  he 
found  the  fortifications  equally  strong  all  round ;  and,  as  ray  own 
opinion  coincided  with  his,  I  did  not  hesitate  a  moment  as  to  the 
manner  in  which  our  approach  and  attack  upon  the  place  should  be 
made.  Notwithstanding  the  march  the  troops  had  performed  in 
the  morning,  and  their  having  been  a  considerable  time  engaged 
with  the  enemy,  I  ordered  the  whole  to  move  across  the  river 
(which  runs  close  under  the  fort  wall)  in  columns,  to  the  right  and 
left  of  the  town,  and  they  were  placed  in  opposition  on  the  north 
side  on  more  commanding  ground,  and  securing  the  Cabool  road. 
I  had  information  that  a  night  attack  upon  the  camp  was  intended 
from  without.  Mahomed  Ubzul  Khan,  the  eldest  son  of  Dost 
Mahomed  Khan,  had  been  sent  by  his  father  with  a  strong  body  of 
troops  from  Cabool  to  the  brother's  assistance  at  Ghuzni,  and  was 
encamped  outside  the  walls,  but  abandoned  his  position  on  our  ap- 
proach, keeping,  however,  at  the  distance  of  a  few  miles  from  us. 
The  two  rebel  chiefs  of  the  Ghiljee  tribe,  men  of  great  influence — 
viz.,  Abdool  Rhuman  and  Gool  Mahomed  Khan,  had  joined  him 
with  1500  horse,  and  also  a  body  of  about  3000  Ghazees  from 
Zeimat,  under  a  mixture  of  chiefs  and  mollahs,  carrying  banners, 
and  who  had  been  assembled  on  the  cry  of  a  religious  war.  In 
short,  we  were  in  all  directions  surrounded  by  enemies.  These  last 
actually  came  down  the  hills  on  the  22nd,  and  attacked  the  part  of 


the  camp  occupied  by  his  Majesty  Shah  Shooja  and  his  own  troops, 
but  were  driven  back  with  considerable  loss,  and  banners  taken. 

At  daylight  on  the  22nd  I  reconnoitered  Ghuzni,  in  company 
with  the  chief  engineer  and  the  brigadier  commanding  the  artillery, 
with  the  adjutant  and  quartermaster-general  of  the  Bengal  army,  for 
the  purpose  of  making  all  arrangements  for  carrying  the  place  by 
storm,  and  these  were  completed  in  the  course  of  the  day.  Instead 
of  the  tedious  process  of  breaching,  (for  which  we  were  ill  prepared,) 
Captain  Thomson  undertook,  with  the  assistance  of  Captain  Peat, 
of  the  Bombay  Engineers,  Lieutenants  Durand  and  Macleod,  of 
the  Bengal  Engineers,  and  other  officers  under  him,  (Captain 
Thomson,)  to  blow  in  theCabool  gate,  the  weakest  point,  with  gun- 
powder ;  and  so  much  faith  did  I  place  on  the  success  of  this 
operation  that  my  plans  for  the  assault  were  immediately  laid  down 
and  the  orders  given. 

The  different  troops  of  horse  artillery,  the  camel  and  foot  bat- 
teries, moved  off  their  ground  at  twelve  o'clock  that  night,  without 
the  slightest  noise,  as  had  been  directed,  and  in  the  most  correct 
manner  took  up  the  position  assigned  them,  about  250  yards  from 
the  walls.  In  like  manner,  and  with  the  same  silence,  the  infantry 
soon  after  moved  from  their  ground,  and  all  were  at  their  post  at 
the  proper  time.  A  few  minutes  before  three  o'clock  in  the  morn- 
ing the  explosion  took  place,  and  proved  completely  successful. 
Captain  Peat,  of  the  Bombay  Engineers,  was  thrown  down  and 
stunned  by  it,  but  shortly  after  recovered  his  senses  and  feeling. 
On  hearing  the  advance  sounded  by  the  bugle,  (being  the  signal  for 
the  gate  having  been  blown  in,)  the  artillery,  under  the  able  direc- 
tions of  Brigadier  Stevenson,  consisting  of  Captain  Grant's  troop  of 
Bengal  Horse  Artillery,  the  camel  battery,  under  Captain  Abbott, 
both  superintended  by  Major  Pew,  Captains  Martin  and  Cotgmve's 
troops  of  Bombay  Horse  Artillery,  and  Captain  Lloyd's  battery  of 
Bombay  Foot  Artillery,  all  opened  a  terrific  fire  upon  the  citadel 
and  ramparts  of  the  fort,  and,  in  a  certain  degree,  paralysed  the 


Underthe  guidance  of  Captain  Thomson,  of  the  Bengal  Engineers, 
the  chief  of  the  department,  Colonel  Dennie,  of  her  Majesty's  13th 
Light  Infantry,  commanding  the  advance,  consisting  of  the  light 
companies  of  her  Majesty's  2nd  and  17th  regiments  of  Foot,  and 
of  the  Bengal  European  regiment,  with  one  company  of  her  Ma- 
jesty's 13th  Light  Infantry,  proceeded  to  the  gate,  and  with  great 
difficulty,  from  the  rubbish  thrown  down,  and  the  determined  oppo- 
sition offered  by  the  enemy,  effected  an  entrance,  and  established 
themselves  within  the  gateway,  closely  followed  by  the  main  column, 
led  in  a  spirit  of  great  gallantry  by  Brigadier  Sale,  to  whom  I  had 
entrusted  the  important  post  of  commanding  the  storming  party, 
consisting  (with  the  advance  above-mentioned)  of  her  Majesty's 
2nd  Foot,  under  Major  Carruthers;  the  Bengal  European  regiment, 
under  Lieutenant-Colonel  Orchard,  followed  by  her  Majesty's  13th 
Light  Infantry,  under  Major  Tronson  ;  and  her  Majesty's  17th  re- 
giment, under  Lieutenant-Colonel  Croker.  The  struggle  within  the 
fort  was  desperate  for  a  considerable  time.  In  addition  to  the  heavy 
fire  kept  up,  our  troops  were  assailed  by  the  enemy  sword  in  hand, 
and  with  daggers,  pistols,  &c. ;  but  British  courage,  perseverance, 
and  fortitude,  overcame  all  opposition,  and  the  fire  of  the  enemy  in 
the  lower  area  of  the  fort  being  nearly  silenced.  Brigadier  Sale 
turned  towards  the  citadel,  from  which  could  now  be  seen  men 
abandoning  the  guns,  running  in  all  directions,  throwing  themselves 
down  from  immense  heights,  endeavouring  to  make  their  escape ; 
and  on  reaching  the  gate  with  her  Majesty's  17th,  under  Lieutenant- 
Colonel  Croker,  followed  by  the  13th,  forced  it  open  at  five  o'clock 
in  the  morning.  The  colours  of  her  Majesty's  13th  and  17th  were 
planted  on  the  citadel  of  Ghuzni  amidst  the  cheers  of  all  ranks. 
Instant  protection  was  granted  to  the  women  found  in  the  citadel, 
(among  whom  were  those  of  Mahomed  Hyder,  the  governor,)  and 
sentries  placed  over  the  magazine  for  its  security.  Brigadier  Sale 
reports  having  received  much  assistance  from  Captain  Kershaw,  of 
her  Majesty's  13th  Light  Infantry,  throughout  the  whole  of  the  ser- 
vice of  the  storming. 


Major-General  Sir  Willoughby  Cotton  executed  in  a  manner 
much  to  my  satisfaction  the  orders  he  had  received.  The  Major- 
General  followed  closely  the  assaulting  party  into  the  fort  with  the 
reserve — namely,  Brigadier  Roberts,  with  the  only  available  regi- 
ment of  his  brigade  ;  the  35th  Native  Infantry,  under  Lieutenant- 
Colonel  Monteath  ;  part  of  Brigadier  Sale's  brigade,  the  16th  Na- 
tive Infantry,  under  Major  Maclaren  ;  and  48th  Native  Infantry, 
under  Lieutenant-Colonel  Wheeler;  and  they  immediately  occu- 
pied the  ramparts,  putting  down  opposition  whenever  they  met  any, 
and  making  prisoners,  until  the  place  was  completely  in  our  posses- 
sion. A  desultory  fire  was  kept  up  in  the  town  long  after  the  citadel 
was  in  our  hands,  from  those  who  had  taken  shelter  in  houses,  and  in 
desperation  kept  firing  on  all  that  approached  them.  In  this  way 
several  of  our  men  were  wounded,  and  some  killed,  but  the  ag- 
gressors paid  dearly  for  their  bad  conduct  in  not  surrendering  when 
the  place  was  completely  ours.  I  must  not  omit  to  mention  that 
three  companies  of  the  35th  Native  Infantry,  under  Captain  Hay, 
ordered  to  the  south  side  of  the  fort  to  begin  with  a  false  attack,  to 
attract  attention  on  that  side,  performed  that  service  at  the  proper 
time,  and  greatly  to  my  satisfaction. 

As  we  were  threatened  with  an  attack  for  the  relief  of  the  garrison, 
I  ordered  the  IQth  Bombay  Native  Infantry,  under  the  command 
of  Lieutenant-Colonel  Stalker,  to  guard  the  Cabool  road,  and  to  be 
in  support  of  the  cavalry  division.  This  might  have  proved  an  im- 
portant position  to  occupy,  but  as  it  was,  no  enemy  appeared. 

The  cavalry  division,  under  Major-General  Thackwell,  in  addi- 
tion to  watching  the  approach  of  an  enemy,  had  directions  to  sur- 
round Ghuzni,  and  to  sweep  the  plain,  preventing  the  escape  of 
runaways  from  the  garrison.  Brigadier  Arnold's  brigade — the  Bri- 
gadier himself,  I  deeply  regret  to  say,  was  labouring  under  very 
severe  illness,  having  shortly  before  burst  a  blood-vessel  internally, 
which  rendered  it  wholly  impossible  for  him  to  mount  a  horse  that 
day — consisting  of  her  Majesty's  16th  Lancers,  under  Lieutenant- 
Colonel  Persse,  temporarily  commanding  the  brigade,  and  Major 


Mac  Dowell,  the  junior  major  of  the  regiment,  (the  senior  major  of 
the  16th  Lancers,  Major  Cureton,  an  officer  of  great  merit,  being 
actively  engaged  in  the  execution  of  his  duties  as  Assistant  Adju- 
tant-General to  the  cavalry  division,)  the  2nd  Cavalry,  under  Major 
Salter,  and  the  3rd,  under  Lieutenant-Colonel  Smith,  were  or- 
dered to  watch  the  south  and  west  sides.  Brigadier  Scott's  brigade 
were  placed  on  the  Cabool  road,  consisting  of  her  Majesty's  4th 
Light  Dragoons,  under  Major  Daly,  and  of  the  1st  Bombay  Ca- 
valry, under  Lieutenant-Colonel  Sandwith,  to  watch  the  north  and 
east  sides  :  this  duty  was  performed  in  a  manner  greatly  to  my  sa- 

After  the  storming,  and  that  quiet  was  in  some  degree  restored 
within,  I  conducted  his  Majesty  Shah  Shooja-ool-Moolk,  and  the 
British  Envoy  and  Minister,  Mr.  Macnaghten,  round  the  citadel 
and  a  great  part  of  the  fortress.  The  king  was  perfectly  astonished 
at  our  having  made  ourselves  masters  of  a  place  conceived  to  be  im- 
pregnable, when  defended,  in  the  short  space  of  two  hours,  and  in 
less  than  forty-eight  hours  after  we  came  before  it.  His  Majesty 
was,  of  course,  greatly  delighted  at  the  result.  When  I  afterwards, 
in  the  course  of  the  day,  took  Mahomed  Hyder  Khan,  the  governor, 
first  to  the  British  Minister,  and  then  to  the  King,  to  make  his  sub- 
mission, I  informed  his  Majesty  that  I  had  made  a  promise  that  his 
life  should  not  be  touched,  and  the  King,  in  very  handsome  terms, 
assented,  and  informed  Mahomed  Hyder,  in  my  presence,  that 
although  he  and  his  family  had  been  rebels,  yet  he  was  willing  to 
forget  and  forgive  all. 

Prince  Mahomed  Hyder,  the  Governor  of  Ghuzni,  is  a  prisoner 
of  war  in  my  camp,  and  under  the  surveillance  of  Sir  Alexander 
Burnes,  an  arrangement  very  agreeable  to  the  former. 

From  Major-General  Sir  W.  Cotton,  commanding  the  1st  infantry 
division,  (of  the  Bengal  army,)  I  have  invariably  received  the 
strongest  support ;  and  on  this  occasion  his  exertions  were  manifest 
in  support  of  the  honour  of  the  profession  and  of  our  country. 

I  have  likewise,  at  all  times,  received  able  assistance  from  Major- 


General  Willshire,  commanding  the  2nd  infantry  division,  (of  the 
Bombay  army,)  which  it  was  found  expedient  on  that  day  to  break 
up,  some  for  the  storming  party,  and  some  for  other  duties.  The 
Major-General,  as  directed,  was  in  attendance  upon  myself. 

To  Brigadier  Sale  I  feel  deeply  indebted  for  the  gallant  and 
soldierlike  manner  in  which  he  conducted  the  responsible  and 
arduous  duty  entrusted  to  him  in  command  of  the  storming  party, 
and  for  the  arrangements  he  made  in  the  citadel  immediately  after 
taking  possession  of  it.  The  sabre  wound  which  he  received  in  the 
face  did  not  prevent  his  continuing  to  direct  his  column  until  every- 
thing was  secure ;  and  I  am  happy  in  the  opportunity  of  bringing 
to  your  Lordship's  notice  the  excellent  conduct  of  Brigadier  Sale  on 
this  occasion. 

Brigadier  Stevenson,  in  command  of  the  Artillery,  was  all  I  could 
wish ;  and  he  reports  that  Brigade-Majors  Backhouse  and  Coghlan 
ably  assisted  him.  His  arrangements  were  good  ;  and  the  execu- 
tion done  by  the  arm  he  commands,  was  such  as  cannot  be  forgotten 
by  those  of  the  enemy  who  have  witnessed  and  survived  it. 

To  Brigadier  Roberts,  to  Colonel  Dennie,  who  commanded  the 
advance,  and  to  the  different  officers  commanding  regiments  already 
mentioned,  as  well  as  to  the  other  officers,  and  gallant  soldiers  under 
them,  who  so  nobly  maintained  the  honour  and  reputation  of  our 
country,  my  best  acknowledgments  are  due. 

To  Captain  Thomson,  of  the  Bengal  Engineers,  the  chief  of  the 
department  with  me,  much  of  the  credit  of  the  success  of  this  bril- 
liant coup-de-main  is  due.  A  place  of  the  same  strength,  and  by 
such  simple  means  as  this  highly-talented  and  scientific  officer  re- 
commended to  be  tried,  has,  perhaps,  never  before  been  taken ;  and 
I  feel  I  cannot  do  sufficient  justice  to  Captain  Thomson's  merits  for 
his  conduct  throughout.  In  the  execution  he  was  ably  supported 
by  the  officers  already  mentioned ;  and  so  eager  were  the  other 
officers  of  the  Engineers  of  both  Presidencies  for  the  honour  of  car- 
rying the  powder  bags,  that  the  point  could  only  be  decided  by 
seniority,  which  shews  the  fine  feeling  by  which  they  were  ani- 


I  must  now  inform  your  Lordship,  that  since  I  joined  the  Bengal 
column  in  the  Valley  of  Shawl,  I  have  continued  my  march  with  it 
in  the  advance ;  and  it  has  been  my  good  fortune  to  have  had  the 
assistance  of  two  most  efficient  staff-officers  in  Major  Craigie,  De- 
puty Adjutant-General,  and  Major  Garden,  Deputy  Quartermaster- 
General.  It  is  but  justice  to  those  officers  that  I  should  state  to 
your  Lordship  the  high  satisfaction  I  have  derived  from  the  manner 
in  which  all  their  duties  have  been  performed  up  to  this  day,  and 
that  I  look  upon  them  as  promising  officers  to  fill  the  higher  ranks. 
To  the  other  officers  of  both  departments  I  am  also  much  in- 
debted for  the  correct  performance  of  all  duties  appertaining  to  their 

To  Major  Keith,  the  Deputy  Adjutant-General,  and  Major 
Campbell,  the  Deputy  Quartermaster-General  of  the  Bombay 
army,  and  to  all  the  other  officers  of  both  departments  under  them, 
my  acknowledgments  are  also  due,  for  the  manner  in  which  their 
duties  have  been  performed  during  this  campaign. 

Captain  Alexander,  commanding  the  4th  Bengal  Local  Horse, 
and  Major  Cunningham,  commanding  the  Poona  Auxiliary  Horse, 
with  the  men  under  their  orders,  have  been  of  essential  service  to  the 
army  in  this  campaign. 

The  arrangements  made  by  Superintending-Surgeons  Kennedy 
and  Atkinson  previous  to  the  storming,  for  affording  assistance  and 
comfort  to  the  wounded,  met  with  my  approval. 

Major  Parsons,  the  Deputy  Commissary-General,  in  charge  of 
the  department  in  the  field,  has  been  unremitting  in  his  attention  to 
keep  the  troops  supplied,  although  much  difficulty  is  experienced, 
and  he  is  occasionally  thwarted  by  the  nature  of  the  country  and  its 

I  have  throughout  this  service  received  the  utmost  assistance  I 
could  derive  from  Lieutenant-Colonel  Macdonald,  my  officiating 
military  secretary,  and  Deputy  Adjutant-General  of  her  Majesty's 
Forces,  Bombay;  from  Captain  Powell,  my  Persian  interpreter, 
and  the  other  officers  of  my  personal  staff.  The  nature  of  the 
country  in  which  we  are  serving,  prevents  the  possibility  of  my 

APPENDIX.  ]  63 

sending  a  single  staff-officer  to  deliver  this  to  your  Lordship,  other- 
wise I  should  have  asked  my  aide-de-camp,  Lieutenant  Keane,  to 
proceed  to  Simla,  to  deliver  this  despatch  into  your  hands,  and  to 
have  afforded  any  further  information  that  your  Lordship  could 
have  desired. 

The  brilliant  triumph  we  have  obtained,  the  cool  courage  dis- 
played, and  the  gallant  bearing  of  the  troops  I  have  the  honour  to 
command,  will  have  taught  such  a  lesson  to  our  enemies  in  the  Af- 
ghan nation  as  will  make  them  hereafter  respect  the  name  of  a 
British  soldier. 

Our  loss  is  wonderfully  small  considering  the  occasion ;  the 
casualties  in  killed  and  wounded  amount  to  about  200. 

The  loss  of  the  enemy  is  immense  ;  we  have  already  buried  of 
their  dead  nearly  500,  together  with  an  immense  number  of  horses. 

I  enclose  a  list  of  the  killed,  wounded,  and  missing.  I  am  happy 
to  say  that,  although  the  wounds  of  some  of  the  officers  are  severe, 
they  are  all  doing  well. 

It  is  my  intention,  after  selecting  a  garrison  for  this  place,  and 
establishing  a  general  hospital,  to  continue  my  march  to  Cabool 
forthwith. — I  have,  &c., 

(Signed)  John  Keane,  Lieut.-General. 

No.  1. 

List  of  killed,  wounded,  and  missing,  in  the  army  under  the  com- 
mand of  Lieutenant- General  Sir  John  Keane,  before  Ghuzni, 
on  the  2lst  of  July,  1839  : — 

2nd  Troop  Bengal  Horse  Artillery — 3  horses  wounded. 

3rd  Troop  Bombay — 2  rank  and  file,  2  horses,  wounded. 

4th  Troop  Bombay — 1  horse  killed. 

2nd  Regiment  Bengal  Cavalry — 1  horse  killed,  1  rank  and  file 

4th  Bengal  Local  Horse — 1  rank  and  file  and  1  horse  missing. 

Her  Majesty's  13th  Light  Infantry — 1  rank  and  file  killed. 


16lh  Bengal  Native  Infantry — 1  captain  wounded. 
48th  Ditto         ditto — 1  lieutenant,  and  2  rank  and  file  wounded 
Total  killed — 1  rank  and  file,  and  two  horses. 
Total  wounded — 1  captain,  1  lieutenant,  5  rank  and  file,  and 
6  horses. 

Total  missing — 1  rank  and  file,  and  1  horse. 

Names  of'  Officers  wounded. 

Captain  Graves,  16th  Bengal  Native  Infantry,  severely. 
Lieutenant  Vanhomrigh,  48th  Bengal  Native  Infantry,  slightly. 

(Signed)  R.  Macdonald,  Lieut.-Colonel, 

Military  Secretary,  and  Deputy  Adjutant- Gen.  to 
her  Majesty's  Forces,  Bombay. 

No.  2. 

List  of  killed,  wounded,  and  missing,  in  the  army  under  the  com- 
mand  of  Lieuteiiant- General  Sir  John  Keane,  K.C.B.  and 
G.C.H.,  in  the  assault  and  capture  of  the  fortress  and  citadel 
of  Ghuzni,  on  the  23rd  of  July,  1839  : — 

General  Staff — 1  colonel,  1  major,  wounded. 

3rd  Troop  Bombay  Horse  Artillery — 1  rank  and  file  wounded. 

4th  Ditto         ditto — 1  rank  and  file  and  1  horse  wounded. 

Bengal  Engineers — 3  rank  and  file  killed,  2  rank  and  file  wounded, 
1  rank  and  file  missing. 

Bombay  Engineers — 1  lieutenant,  1  rank  and  file,  wounded. 

2nd  Bengal  Light  Cavalry — 1  rank  and  file  wounded. 

1st  Bombay  Light  Cavalry — 1  havildar  killed,  5  rank  and  file 
and  7  horses  wounded. 

Her  Majesty's  2nd  Foot  (or  Queen's  Royals) — 4  rank  and  file 
Icilled;  2  captains,  4  lieutenants,  1  sergeant,  and  26  rank  and  file 

Her  Majesty's  13th  Light  Infantry — 1  rank  and  file  killed ;  3  ser- 
geants and  27  rank  and  file  wounded. 


Her  Majesty's  1 7th  Foot — 6  rank  and  file  wounded. 

Bengal  European  Regiment — 1  rank  and  file  killed  ;  1  lieutenant- 
colonel,  1  major,  2  captains,  4  lieutenants,  1  ensign,  1  sergeant, 
51  rank  and  file  wounded. 

16th  Bengal  N.  I. — 1  havildar,  6  rank  and  file,  wounded. 

35th  Ditto — 5  rank  and  file  killed ;  1  havildar  and  8  rank  and 
file  wounded. 

48th  Ditto — 2  havildars  killed,  5  rank  and  file  wounded. 

Total  killed — 3  sergeants  or  havildars,  14  rank  and  file. 

Total  wounded — 1  colonel,  1  lieutenant-colonel,  2  majors,  4  cap- 
tains, 8  lieutenants,  2  ensigns,  7  sergeants  or  havildars,  140  rank 
and  file,  8  horses. 

Total  missing — 1  rank  and  file. 

Grand  total  on  the  21st  and  23rd  of  July,  killed,  wounded,  and 
missing — 191  officers  and  men,  and  16  horses. 

Names  of  Officers  killed,  wounded^  and  missing. 

General  Staff — Brigadier  Sale,  her  Majesty's  13th  Light  Infantry, 
slightly ;  Major  Parsons,  Deputy  Commissary-General,  slightly. 

Bombay  Engineers — Second  Lieutenant  Marriott,  slightly. 

Her  Majesty's  2nd  (or  Queen's  Royals) — Captain  Raitt,  slightly; 
Captain  Robinson,  severely ;  Lieutenant  Yonge,  severely ;  Lieut. 
Stisted,  slightly ;  Adjutant  Simmons,  slightly ;  Quartermaster 
Hadley,  slightly. 

Bengal    European    Regiment  —  Lieutenant-Colonel  Orchard, 

slightly;    Major   Warren,  severely;  Captains  Hay   and   Taylor, 

slightly;  Lieutenant  Broadfoot,  slightly;    Lieutenant  Haslewood, 

severely ;  Lieutenants  Fagan  and  Magnay,  slightly  ;  Ensign  Jacob, 


(Signed)  R.  Macdonald,  Lieut.-Colonel, 

Military  Secretary,  and  Deputy  Adjutant-Gen.  to 
her  Majesty's  Forces,  Bombay. 

I  2 



Bi/  his  Excellency/  Lieutenant- Gen.  Sir  John  Keane,  Commander- 
in-Chief  <)/ the  Army  of  the  Indus. 

Head-Quarters,  Camp,  Ghuzni,  July  23rd,  1839. 

Lieutenant-General  Sir  John  Keane  most  heartily  congratulates 
the  array  he  has  the  honour  to  command,  on  the  signal  triumph 
they  have  this  day  obtained  in  the  capture  by  storm  of  the  strong 
and  important  fortress  of  Ghuzni.  His  Excellency  feels  that  he  can 
hardly  do  justice  to  the  gallantry  of  the  troops. 

The  scientific  and  successful  manner  in  which  the  Cabool  gate 
(of  great  strength)  was  blown  up  by  Captain  Thomson,  of  the 
Bengal  Engineers,  the  chief  of  that  department  with  this  army,  in 
which  he  reports  having  been  most  ably  assisted  by  Captain  Peat, 
of  the  Bombay  Engineers,  and  Lieutenants  Durand  and  Mac  Leod, 
of  the  Bengal  Engineers,  in  the  daring  and  dangerous  enterprise  of 
laying  down  powder  in  the  face  of  the  enemy,  and  the  strong  fire 
kept  up  on  them,  reflects  the  highest  credit  on  their  skill  and  cool 
courage,  and  his  Excellency  begs  Captain  Thomson  and  officers 
named  will  accept  his  cordial  thanks.  His  acknowledgments  are 
also  due  to  the  other  officers  of  the  Engineers  of  both  Presidencies, 
and  to  the  valuable  corps  of  Sappers  and  Miners  under  them.  This 
opening  having  been  made,  although  it  was  a  difficult  one  to  enter 
by,  from  the  rubbish  in  the  way,  the  leading  column,  in  a  spirit  of 
true  gallantry,  directed  and  led  by  Brigadier  Sale,  gained  a  footing 
inside  the  fortress,  although  opposed  by  the  Afghan  soldiers  in  very 
great  strength,  and  in  the  most  desperate  manner,  with  every  kind 
of  weapon. 

The  advance,  under  Lieutenant-Colonel  Dennie,  of  her  Majesty's 
13th,  consisting  of  the  light  companies  of  her  Majesty's  2nd  and 
17th,  and  of  the  Bengal  European  Regiment,  with  one  company  of 
her  Majesty's  13th  ;  and  the  leading  column,  consisting  of  her  Ma- 
jesty's 2nd  Queen's,  under  Major  Carruthers,   and  the   Bengal 


European  Regiment,  under  Lieutenant-Colonel  Orchard,  followed 
by  her  Majesty's  13th  Light  Infantry,  as  they  collected  from  the  duty 
of  skirmishing,  which  ihey  were  directed  to  begin  with,  and  by  her 
Majesty's  I7th,  under  Lieutenant-Colonel  Croker.  To  all  these 
officers,  and  to  the  other  officers  and  gallant  soldiers  under  their 
orders,  his  Excellency's  best  thanks  are  tendered  ;  but,  in  par- 
ticular, he  feels  deeptly  indebted  to  Brigadier  Sale,  for  the  manner 
in  which  he  conducted  the  arduous  duty  entrusted  to  him  in  the 
command  of  the  storming  party.  His  Excellency  will  not  fail  to 
bring  it  to  the  notice  of  his  Lordship  the  Governor-General ;  and 
he  trusts  the  wound  which  Brigadier  Sale  has  received  is  not  of 
that  severe  nature  long  to  deprive  this  army  of  his  services.  Briga- 
dier Sale  reports  that  Captain  Kershaw,  of  her  Majesty's  13th  Light 
Infantry,  rendered  important  assistance  to  him  and  to  the  service  in 
the  storming. 

Sir  John  Keane  was  happy,  on  this  proud  occasion,  to  have  the 
assistance  of  his  old  comrade,  Major-General  Sir  Willoughby 
Cotton,  who,  in  command  of  the  reserve,  ably  executed  the  instruc- 
tions he  had  received,  and  was  at  the  gate  ready  to  enter  after  the 
storming  party  had  established  themselves  inside,  when  he  moved 
through  it  to  sweep  the  ramparts,  and  to  complete  the  subjugatiqu 
of  the  place  with  the  16th  Bengal  Native  Infantry,  under  Major 
M'Laren ;  Brigadier  Roberts,  with  the  35th  Native  Infantry,  under 
Lieutenant-Colonel  Monteath  ;  and  the  48th  Native  Infantry,  under 
Lieutenant- Colonel  Wheeler.  His  arrangements  afterwards,  in  con- 
tinuation of  those  Brigadier  Sale  had  made  for  the  security  of  the 
magazine  and  other  public  stores,  were  such  as  meet  his  Excellency's 
high  approval. 

The  Commander-in-Chief  acknowledges  the  services  rendered 
by  Captain  Hay,  of  the  35th  Native  Infantry,  in  command  of  three 
companies  of  that  regiment  sent  to  the  south  side  of  the  fortress  to 
begin  with  a  false  attack,  and  which  was  executed  at  the  proper 
time,  and  in  a  manner  highly  satisfactory  to  his  Excellency. 

Nothing  could  be  more  judicious  than  the  manner  in  which  Bri- 


gadier  Stevenson  placed  the  artillery  in  position.  Captain  Grant^s 
troop  of  Bengal  Artillery,  and  the  camel  battery,  under  Captain 
Abbott,  both  superintended  by  Major  Pew;  the  two  troops  of 
Bombay  Horse  Artillery,  commanded  by  Captains  Martin  and  Cot- 
grave  ;  and  Captain  Lloyd's  battery  of  Bombay  Foot  Artillery,  all 
opened  upon  the  citadel  and  fortress  in  a  manner  v^^hich  shook  the 
enemy,  and  did  such  execution  as  completely  to  paralyse  and  to 
strike  terror  into  them  ;  and  his  Excellency  begs  Brigadier  Steven- 
son, the  officers,  and  men  of  that  arm,  will  accept  his  thanks  for 
their  good  service. 

The  19th  Regiment  Bombay  Native  Infantry,  under  the  com- 
mand of  Lieutenant-Colonel  Stalker,  having  been  placed  in  position 
to  watch  any  enemy  that  might  appear  on  the  Cabool  road,  or  ap- 
proach to  attack  the  camp,  had  an  important  post  assigned  to  them, 
although,  as  it  happened,  no  enemy  made  an  attack  upon  them. 

In  sieges  and  stormings  it  does  not  fall  to  the  lot  of  cavalry  to 
bear  the  same  conspicuous  part  as  to  the  other  two  arms  of  the  pro- 
fession. On  this  occasion.  Sir  John  Keane  is  happy  to  have  an  op- 
portunity of  thanking  Major-General  Thackwell,  and  the  officers  and 
men  of  the  cavalry  divisions  under  his  orders,  for  having  successfully 
executed  the  directions  given,  to  sweep  the  plain,  and  to  intercept 
fugitives  of  the  enemy  attempting  to  escape  from  the  fort  in  any  di- 
rection around  it;  and  had  an  enemy  appeared  for  the  relief  of  the 
place  during  the  storming,  his  Excellency  is  fully  satisfied  that  the 
different  regiments  of  this  fine  arm  would  have  distinguished  them- 
selves, and  that  the  opportunity  alone  was  wanting. 

Major-General  Willshire's  division  having  been  broken  up  for  the 
day,  to  be  distributed  as  it  was,  the  Major-General  was  desired  to 
be  in  attendance  upon  the  Commander-in-Chief.  To  him  and  to 
the  officers  of  the  Assistant  Quartermaster- General's  department  of 
the  Bengal  and  Bombay  army,  his  Excellency  returns  his  warmest 
thanks  for  the  assistance  they  have  afFoi;ded  him. 

The  Commander-in-Chief  feels — and  in  which  feeling  he  is  sure 
he  will  be  joined  by  the  troops  composing  the  Army  of  the  Indus— 


that,  after  the  long  and  harassing  marches  they  have  had,  and  the 
privations  they  have  endured,  this  glorious  achievement,  and  the 
brilliant  manner  in  which  the  troops  have  met  and  conquered  their 
enemy,  reward  them  for  it  all.  His  Excellency  will  only  add,  that 
no  army  that  has  ever  been  engaged  in  a  campaign  deserves  more 
credit  than  that  which  he  has  the  honour  to  command,  for  patient, 
orderly,  and  correct  conduct,  under  all  circumstances,  and  Sir  John 
Keane  is  proud  to  have  the  opportunity  of  thus  publicly  acknow- 
ledging it. 

By  order  of  his  Excellency  Lieutenant-General  Sir  John  Keane, 
Commander-in-Chief  of  the  Army  of  the  Indus. 

(Signed)  R.  Macdonald,  Lieut.-Colonel, 

Military  Secretary,  and  Deputy  Adjutant-Gen.  of 
her  Majesty's  Forces,  Bombay. 


(From  the  Delhi  Gazette  Extraordinary/,  of  Thursday^  Aug.  29.) 


Simla,  August  26th,  1839. 

The  Governor-General  of  India  publishes  for  general  informa- 
tion, the  subjoined  copy  and  extracts  of  despatches  from  his  Excel- 
lency the  Commander-in-Chief  of  the  Army  of  the  Indus,  and  from 
the  Envoy  and  Minister  at  the  Court  of  his  Majesty  Shah  Shooja- 
ool-Moolk,  announcing  the  triumphant  enti'y  of  the  Shah  into 
Cabool,  on  the  7th  instant. 

In  issuing  this  notification,  the  Governor-General  cannot  omit 
the  opportunity  of  offering  to  the  officers  and  men  composing  the 
army  of  the  Indus,  and  to  the  distinguished  leader  by  whom  they 
have  been  commanded,  the  cordial  congratulations  of  the  govern- 
ment upon  the  happy  result  of  a  campaign,  which,  on  the  sole  oc- 
casion when  resistance  was  opposed  to  them,  has  been  gloriously 
marked  by  victory,  and  in  all  the  many  difficulties  of  which  the 


character  of  a  British  army  for  gallantry,  good  conduct,  and  disci- 
pline has  been  nobly  maintained. 

A  salute  of  twenty-one  guns  will  be  fired  on  the  receipt  of 
this  intelligence  at  all  the  principal  stations  of  the  army  in  the 
three  Presidencies. 

By  order  of  the  Right  Hon.  the  Governor-General  of  India, 

T.  H.  Maddock, 

Officiating  Secretary  to  the  Government  of 

India,  with  the  Governor-General. 

TO    THE   RIGHT    HON.    LORD    AUCKLAND^  G.C.B.,  ETC. 

My  Lor"^, — We  have  the  honour  to  acquaint  your  Lordship  that 
the  army  marched  from  Ghuzni,  en  route  to  Cabool,  in  two  columns, 
on  the  30th  and  31st  ult.,  his  Majesty  Shah  Shooja-ool-Moolk,  with 
his  own  troops,  forming  part  of  the  second  column. 

On  the  arrival  of  the  Commander-in-Chief  with  the  first  column, 
at  Hyde  Khail,  on  the  1st  inst.,  information  reached  him,  and  the 
same  reached  the  Envoy  and  Minister  at  Huft  Assaya,  that  Dost 
Mahomed,  with  his  army  and  artillery,  were  advancing  from  Cabool, 
and  would  probably  take  up  a  position  at  Urghundee  or  Midan, 
(the  former  twenty-four,  the  latter  thirty-six  miles  from  Cabool.) 
Upon  this  it  was  arranged  that  his  Majesty,  with  the  second  column, 
under  Major-General  Willshire,  should  join  the  first  column  here, 
and  advance  together  to  attack  Dost  Mahomed,  whose  son,  Mahomed 
Akhbar,  had  been  recalled  from  Jellahabad,  with  the  troops  guard- 
ing the  Khyber  Pass,  and  had  formed  a  junction  with  his  father  ; 
their  joint  forces,  according  to  our  information,  amounting  to  about 
13,000  men. 

Every  arrangement  was  made  for  the  King  and  the  army  match- 
ing in  a  body  from  here  to-morrow ;  but  in  the  course  of  the  night, 
messengers  arrived,  and  since  (this  morning)  a  great  many  chiefs 


and  their  followers,  announcing  the  dissolution  of  Dost  Mahomed's 
army,  by  the  refusal  of  a  great  part  to  advance  against  us  with  him, 
and  that  he  had  in  consequence  fled,  with  a  party  of  300  horsemen, 
ill  the  direction  of  Bamian,  leaving  his  guns  behind  him,  in  position, 
as  they  were  placed  at  Urghundee. 

His  Majesty  Shah  Shooja  has  sent  forward  a  confidential  officer, 
with  whom  has  been  associated  Major  Cureton,  of  her  Majesty's 
16th  Lancers,  taking  with  him  a  party  of  200  men  and  an  officer  of 
artillery,  to  proceed  direct  to  take  possession  of  those  guns,  and 
afterwards  such  other  guns  and  public  stores  as  may  be  found  in 
Cabool  and  the  Balla  Hissar,  in  the  name  of,  and  for  his  Majesty 
Shah  Shooja-ool-Moolk,  and  the  King's  order  will  be  carried  by  his 
own  officer  with  this  party,  for  preserving  the  tranquillity  of  the  city 
of  Cabool. 

A  strong  party  has  been  detached  in  pursuit  of  Dost  Mahomed, 
under  some  of  our  most  active  officers.  We  continue  our  march 
upon  Cabool  to-morrow,  and  will  reach  it  on  the  third  day. 

We  have,  &c., 


John  Keane,  Lieut.-General 



W.  H.  Macnaghten, 

Envoy  and  Minister. 

Extract  from  a  Letter  from  his  Excellency  Lieutenant-  General 
Sir  John  Keane,  K.C.B.  and  G.C.H.,  dated  Head- Quarters, 
Camp,  Cabool,  August  8th,  1839  ■•— 

^'  It  gives  me  infinite  pleasure  to  be  able  to  address  my  despatch 
to  your  Lordship  from  this  capital,  the  vicinity  of  which  his  Majesty 
Shah  Shooja-ool-Mcolk  and  the  army  under  my  command  reached 
the  day  before  yesterday.  The  King  entered  his  capital  yesterday 
afternoon,  accompanied  by  the  British  Envoy  and  Minister  and 
the  gentlemen  of  the  mission,  and  by  myself,  the  general  and  staff 

I  3 


officers  of  this  army,  and  escorted  by  a  squadron  of  her  Majesty's 
4th  Light  Dragoons,  and  one  of  her  Majesty's  16th  Lancers,  with 
Captain  Martin's  troop  of  Horse  Artillery.  His  Majesty  had  ex- 
pressed a  wish  that  British  troops  should  be  present  on  the  occasion, 
and  a  very  small  party  only  of  his  own  Hindostanee  and  Afghan 
troops.  After  the  animating  scene  of  traversing  the  streets,  and 
reaching  the  palace  in  the  Bala  Hissar,  a  royal  salute  was  fired,  and 
an  additional  salvo  in  the  Afghan  style,  from  small  guns,  resembling 
wall-pieces,  named  gingalls,  and  carried  on  camels.  We  heartily 
congratulated  his  Majesty  on  being  in  possession  of  the  throne 
and  kingdom  of  his  ancestors,  and  upon  the  overthrow  of  his 
enemies ;  and  after  taking  leave  of  his  Majesty,  we  returned  to 
our  camp. 

"  I  trust  we  have  thus  accomplished  all  the  objects  which  your 
Lordship  had  in  contemplation  when  you  planned  and  formed  the 
army  of  the  Indus,  and  the  expedition  into  Afghanistan. 

*'  The  conduct  of  the  army,  both  European  and  native,  which 
your  Lordship  did  me  the  honour  to  place  under  my  orders,  has  been 
admirable  throughout,  and,  notwithstanding  the  severe  marching 
and  privations  they  have  gone  through,  their  appearance  and  disci- 
pline have  suffered  nothing,  and  the  opportunity  afforded  them  at 
Ghuzni  of  meeting  and  conquering  their  enemy  has  added  greatly 
to  their  good  spirits. 

"  The  joint  despatch  addressed  by  Mr  Macnaghten  and  myself 
to  your  Lordship,  on  the  3rd  instant,  from  Shikarbad,  will  have  in- 
formed you  that  at  the  moment  we  had  made  every  preparation  to 
attack  (on  the  following  day)  Dost  Mahomed  Khan,  in  his  position 
at  Urghundee,  where,  after  his  son,  Mahomed  Akhbar,  had  joined 
him  from  Jellahabad,  he  had  an  army  amounting  to  13,000  men, 
well  armed  and  appointed,  and  thirty  pieces  of  artillery,  we  sud- 
denly learned  that  he  abandoned  them  all,  and  fled,  with  a  party 
of  horsemen,  on  the  road  to  Bamian,  leaving  his  guns  in  position,  as 
be  had  placed  them  to  receive  our  attack. 

"  It  appears  that  a  great  part  of  his  army,  which  was  hourly  be- 


coming  disorganized,  refused  to  stand  by  him  in  the  position  to 
receive  our  attack,  and  that  it  soon  became  in  a  state  of  dissolution. 
The  great  bulk  immediately  came  over  to  Shah  Shooja,  tendering 
their  allegiance,  and  I  believe  his  Majesty  will  take  most  of  them 
into  his  pay. 

"  It  seems  that  the  news  of  the  quick  and  determined  manner  in 
which  we  took  their  stronghold,  Ghuzni,  had  such  an  effect  upon 
the  population  of  Cabool,  and  perhaps  also  upon  the  enemy's  army, 
that  Dost  Mahomed  from  that  moment  began  to  lose  hope  of 
retaining  his  rule,  for  even  a  short  time  longer,  and  sent  off  his 
family  and  valuable  property  towards  Bamian  ;  but  marched  out  of 
Cabool,  with  his  army  and  artillery,  keeping  a  bold  front  towards  us 
until  the  evening  of  the  2nd,  when  all  his  hopes  were  at  an  end  by  a 
division  in  his  own  camp,  and  one  part  of  his  army  abandoning 
him.  So  precipitate  was  his  flight,  that  he  left  in  position  his  guns, 
with  their  ammunition  and  wagons,  and  the  greater  part  of  the 
cattle  by  which  they  were  drawn.  Major  Cureton,  of  her  Majesty's 
16th  Lancers,  with  his  party  of  200  men,  pushed  forward,  on  the 
3rd,  and  took  possession  of  those  guns,  &c.  There  were  twenty- 
three  brass  guns  in  position,  and  loaded  ;  two  more  at  a  little  dis- 
tance, which  they  attempted  to  take  away ;  and  since  then,  three 
more  abandoned,  still  further  off  on  the  Bamian  road  ;  thus  leaving 
in  our  possession  twenty-eight  pieces  of  cannon,  with  all  the  mate- 
riel belonging  to  them,  which  are  now  handed  over  to  Shah  Shooja- 

Extract  from  a  Letter  from  W.  H.  Macnaghten,  Esq.,  Envoy 
and  Minister  to  the  Court  of  Shah  Shooja-ool-Moolk,  dated 
Cabool,  9th  of  August,  1839  :— 

"  By  a  letter  signed  jointly  by  his  Excellency  Lieu  tenant-General 
-Sir  John  Keane  and  myself,  dated  the  3rd  inst.,  the  Right  Hon. 
the  Governor-General  was  apprised  of  the  flight  of  Dost  Mahomed 

"The  ex-chief  was  not  accompanied  by  any  person  of  con?e- 


quence,  and  his  followers  are  said  to  have  been  reduced  to  below 
the  number  of  100  on  the  day  of  his  departure.  In  the  progress  of 
Shah  Shooja-ool-Moolk  towards  Cabool,  his  Majesty  was  joined  by 
every  person  of  rank  and  influence  in  the  country,  and  he  made  his 
triumphal  entry  into  the  city  on  the  evening  of  the  7th  instant.  His 
Majesty  has  taken  up  his  residence  in  the  Bala  Hissar,  where  he 
has  required  the  British  mission  to  remain  for  the  present/' 

{From  the  Bombay  Government  Gazette  Extraordinary  of 
August  29th.) 

Simla,  August  26th,  1839- 

A  letter  from  Shikarbad,  of  August  3rd,  states — 

"  The  chiefs  with  their  military  followers  are  flocking  in  by 
thousands.  No  better  commentary  on  the  feeling  regarding  Dost 
Mahomed  Khan  could  be  given  than  the  fact  of  his  having  been  able 
to  induce  only  300  out  of  12,000  men  to  accompany  him  ;  Capt. 
Outram  and  seven  other  officers  accompany  the  pursuing  party." 

The  dates  from  the  army  at  Cabool  are  to  August  the  9th.  The 
letters  from  thence  give  the  following  intelligence  : — 

"  The  Shah's  reception  at  this  place  was  equally  gratifying  as  at 
Candahar,  though  the  enthusiasm  was  not  so  boisterous. 

"  We  arrived  here  yesterday,  and,  I  am  happy  to  say,  with  a 
sufficient  stock  of  supplies  in  our  Godown  to  render  us  quite  inde- 
pendent of  any  foreign  purchases  for  the  next  ten  days,  which  will 
keep  down  prices,  and  save  us  from  the  extravagant  rates  which  we 
were  obliged  to  purchase  at  when  we  reached  Candahar.  I  have 
not  been  to  the  city  yet,  but  am  told  it  is  far  superior  to  Candahar. 
Our  people  are  now  very  well  off;  for  the  increased  rations,  and 
abundance  and  cheapness  of  grain  as  we  came  along,  have  left  them 
nothing  to  want  or  wish  for." 

Extract  of  a  further  letter  from  Shikarbad,  August  3rd  : — 

"  The  Afghans  have  not  yet  recovered  from  their  astonishment  at 
the  rapidity  with  which  Ghuzni  fell  into  our  hands,  nor  up  to  this 
moment  will  they  believe  how  it  was  effected. 


''  This  morning  we  received  intelligence  of  Dost  Mahomed's 
flight  towards  Bamian  ;  for  several  days  past  many  of  his  former 
adherents  had  been  joining  the  King.  Since  this  morning,  thou, 
sands  of  Afghans  have  been  coming  in  to  tender  their  allegiance  to 
his  Majesty,  who  is  in  the  greatest  spirits  at  this  pacific  termination 
to  the  campaign,  and  says  that  God  has  now  granted  all  his  wishes, 
— Cabool  is  at  hand  ! 

"  We  are  all  delighted  at  it.  Few  armies  have  made  so  long  a 
march  in  the  same  time  that  the  army  of  the  Indus  has  done.  The 
country  is  every  day  improving.  The  road  to  Candahar  from 
where  v^^e  are  now  encamped  lies  in  a  continued  valley  seldom 
stretching  in  width  above  two  miles;  cultivation  on  each  side  of  the 
road,  and  numberless  villages  nestling  under  the  hills.  Since  we 
left  Ghuzni,  the  fruits  have  assumed  a  very  fine  appearance ;  the 
grapes,  plums,  and  apples  have  become  very  large,  like  their  bre- 
thren of  Europe.  The  climate  now  is  very  fine.  The  rapid  Log- 
hurd  river  is  flowing  close  to  our  encampments,  and  the  European 
soldiers  and  officers  are  amusing  themselves  with  fishing  in  it.  We 
are  beginning  to  get  vegetables  again.  I  passed  this  morning 
through  fields  of  beans,  but  only  in  flower.  Our  attention  must  be 
turned  to  the  cultivation  of  potatoes  ;  they  grow  in  quantities  in 
Persia,  and  this  seems  to  be  just  the  country  for  them.  To  revert 
from  small  things  to  great :  a  party  has  just  been  detached  towards 
Bamian  with  the  view  of  cutting  off  Dost  Mahomed.  It  would  be 
a  great  thing  to  catch  him.  The  party  consists  chiefly  of  Afghans, 
headed  by  Hajee  Khan  Kaukur,  and  about  eight  or  ten  British 
officers  have  been  sent  with  it,  to  prevent  the  Afghans  from  eom- 
mittuig  excesses." 




Thursday,  Feb.  \Ztli. 

INDIA  BOARD,  Feb.  13th. 

A  DESPATCH  has  been  this  day  received  at  the  East  India  House, 
addressed  by  the  Governor-General  of  India  to  the  Secret  Com- 
mittee of  the  East  India  Company,  of  which  the  following  is  a 

copy : — 

"  Camp  at  Bhurtpore,  Dec.  12th,  1839. 

"  I  do  myself  the  honour  to  forward  copies  of  the  despatches 
noted  in  the  margin,  relative  to  the  assault  and  capture  of  the  fort 
of  Kelat. 

'*  2.  The  decision,  the  great  military  skill,  and  excellent  dispo- 
sitions of  Major-General  Willshire,  in  conducting  the  operations 
against  Kelat,  appear  to  me  deserving  the  highest  commendation. 
The  gallantry,  steadiness,  and  soldier-like  bearing  of  the  troops 
under  his  command  rendered  his  plans  of  action  completely  suc- 
cessful ;  thereby  again  crowning  our  arras  across  the  Indus  with 
signal  victory. 

"  3.  I  need  not  expatiate  on  the  importance  of  this  achievement, 
from  which  the  best  effects  must  be  derived,  not  only  in  the  vindi- 
cation ofournational  honour,  but  also  in  confirming  the  security  of 
intercourse  between  Sinde  and  Afghanistan,  and  in  promoting  the 
safety  and  tranquillity  of  the  restored  monarchy ;  but  I  would  not 
omit  to  point  out  that  the  conduct  on  this  occasion  of  Major-General 
Willshire,  and  of  the  officers  and  men  under  his  command,  (in- 
cluding the  31st  regiment  of  Bengal  Native  Infantry,  which  had  not 
been  employed  in  the  previous  active  operations  of  the  campaign,) 
have  entitled  them  to  more  prominent  notice  that  I  was  able  to  give 
them  in  my  general  order  of  November  18th  ;  and  in  recommend- 


ing  these  valuable  services  to  the  applause  of  the  committee,  I  trust 
that  I  shall  not  be  considered  as  going  beyond  my  proper  province 
in  stating  an  earnest  hope  that  the  conduct  of  Major-General  Will- 
shire  in  the  direction  of  the  operations  w\\\  not  fail  to  elicit  the  ap- 
probation of  her  Majesty's  Government. — I  have,  &c. 

"  Auckland." 

By  the  Governor- General  of  India. 

Camp  Doothanee,  December  4th,  1839. 
The  many  outrages  and  murders  committed,  in  attacks  on  the 
followers  of  the  army  of  the  Indus,  by  the  plundering  tribes  in  the 
neighbourhood  of  the  Bolan  Pass,  at  the  instigation  of  their  chief, 
Meer  Mehrab  Khan,  of  Kelat,  at  a  time  when  he  was  professing 
friendship  for  the  British  Government,  and  negotiating  a  treaty  with 
its  representatives,  having  compelled  the  government  to  direct  a 
detachment  of  the  army  to  proceed  to  Kelat  for  the  exaction  of  re- 
tribution from  that  chieftain,  and  for  the  execution  of  such  arrange- 
ments as  would  establish  future  security  in  that  quarter,  a  force, 
under  the  orders  of  Major-General  Willshire,  C.B.,  was  employed 
on  this  service;  and  the  Right  Hon.  the  Governor-General  of  India 
having  this  day  received  that  officer's  report  of  the  successful  ac- 
complishment of  the  objects  intrusted  to  him,  has  been  pleased  to 
direct  that  the  following  copy  of  his  despatch,  dated  the  14th 
ultimo,  be  published  for  general  information. 

The  Governor-General  is  happy  to  avail  himself  of  this  oppor- 
tunity to  record  his  high  admiration  of  the  signal  gallantry  and 
spirit  of  the  troops  engaged  on  this  occasion,  and  offers,  on  the  part 
of  the  government,  his  best  thanks  to  Major-General  Willshire,  and 
to  the  officers  and  men  who  served  under  him. 

By  command  of  the  Governor-General, 
T.  H.  Maddock, 
Officiating  Secretary  to  the  Government  of 
India,  with  the  Governor- General. 



Camp,  nearKelat,  Nov.  14th,  1839. 

My  Lord, — In  obedience  to  the  joint  instructions  furnished  to 
me  by  his  Excellency  the  Commander-in-Chief  of  the  Army  of  the 
Indus,  and  the  Envoy  and  Minister  to  his  Majesty  Shah  Shooja, 
under  date  Cabool,  the  17th  of  September,  1839,  deputing  to  me 
the  duty  of  deposing  Mehrab  Khan  of  Kelat,  in  consequence  of  the 
avowed  hostility  of  that  chief  to  the  British  nation  during  the  pre- 
sent campaign,  I  have  the  honour  to  report,  that  on  my  arrival  at 
Quettah,  on  the  31st  ultimo,  I  communicated  with  Captain  Bean, 
the  political  agent  in  Shawl,  and  arranged  with  him  the  best  means 
of  giving  effect  to  the  orders  I  had  received. 

In  consequence  of  the  want  of  public  carriage,  and  the  limited 
quantity  of  commissariat  supplies  at  Quettah,  as  well  as  the  reported 
want  of  forage  on  the  route  to  Kelat,  I  was  obliged  to  despatch  to 
Cutch  Gundava  the  whole  of  the  cavalry  and  the  greater  portion  of 
the  artillery,  taking  with  me  only  the  troops  noted  in  the  margin,* 
and  leaving  Quettah  oa  the  3rd  instant. 

During  the  march,  the  communications  received  from  Mehrab 
Khan  were,  so  far  from  acceding  to  the  terms  offered,  that  he 
threatened  resistance  if  the  troops  approached  his  capital.  I  there- 
fore proceeded,  and  arrived  at  the  village  of  Giranee,  within  eight 
miles  of  Kelat,  on  the  12  th  instant. 

Marching  thence  the  following  morning,  a  body  of  horse  were 
perceived  on  the  right  of  the  road,  which  commenced  firing  on  the 
advanced  guard,  commanded  by  Major  Pennycuick,  her  Majesty's 
17th  regiment,  as  the  column  advanced,  and  the  skirmishing  be- 
tween them  continued  until  we  came  in  sight  of  Kelat,  rather  less 
than  a  mile  distant. 

*  Two  guns  Bombay  Horse  Artillery;  four  guns  Shah's  ditto;  two  Res- 
salaghs  Local  Horse  ;  Queen's  Royals;  Her  Majesty's  I7th  regiment ^  31st 
regiment  Bengal  Native  Infantry;   Bombay  Engineers. 


T  now  discovered  that  three  heights  on  the  north-west  face  of  the 
fort,  and  parallel  to  the  north,  were  covered  with  infantry,  with  five 
guns  in  position,  protected  by  small  parapet  walls. 

Captain  Peat,  chief  engineer,  immediately  reconnoitered ;  and 
having  reported  that  nothing  could  be  done  until  those  heights  were 
in  our  possession,  I  decided  upon  at  once  storming  them  simul- 
taneously, and,  if  practicable,  entering  the  fort  with  the  fugitives,  as 
the  gate  in  the  northern  face  was  occasionally  opened  to  keep  up 
the  communication  between  the  fort  and  the  heights. 

To  effect  this  object  I  detached  a  company  from  each  of  the 
European  regiments  from  the  advanced  guard  with  Major  Penny- 
cuick,  her  Majesty's  17th  regiment,  for  the  purpose  of  occupying 
the  gardens  and  enclosures  to  the  north-east  of  the  town,  and  two 
more  companies  in  the  plain,  midway  between  them  and  the  column ; 
at  the  same  time  I  ordered  three  columns  of  attack  to  be  formed, 
composed  of  four  companies  from  each  corps,  under  their  respective 
commanding  officers,  Major  Carruthers,  of  the  Queen's,  Lieutenant- 
Colonel  Croker,  her  Majesty's  17th  regiment,  and  Major  Western, 
31st  Bengal  Native  Infantry,  the  whole  under  the  command  of 
Brigadier  Baumgardt,  the  remainder  of  the  regiments  forming  three 
columns  of  reserve,  under  my  own  direction,  to  move  in  support. 

A  hill  being  allotted  to  each  column.  Brigadier  Stevenson,  com- 
manding the  artillery,  moved  quickly  forward  in  front  towards  the 
base  of  the  heights,  and  when  v/ithin  the  required  range  opened  fire 
upon  the  infantry  and  guns,  under  cover  of  which  the  columns 
moved  steadily  on,  and  commenced  the  ascent  for  the  purpose  of 
carrying  the  heights,  exposed  to  the  fire  of  the  enemy's  guns,  which 
had  commenced  while  the  columns  of  attack  were  forming. 

Before  the  columns  reached  their  respective  summits  of  the  hills, 
the  enemy,  overpowered  by  the  superior  and  well-directed  fire  of 
our  artillery,  had  abandoned  them,  attempting  to  carry  off  their 
guns,  but  which  they  were  unable  to  do.  At  this  moment,  it 
appearing  to  me  the  opportunity  offered  for  the  troops  to  get  in  with 
the  fugitives,  and  if  possible  gain  possession  of  the  gate  of  the  for- 
tress, I  despatched  orders  to  the  Queen's  Royal  and  17th  Regiments 


to  make  a  rush  from  the  heights  for  that  purpose,  following  myself 
to  the  summit  of  the  nearest,  to  observe  the  result.  At  this  moment, 
the  four  companies  on  my  left,  which  had  been  detached  to  the 
gardens  and  plain,  seeing  the  chance  that  offered  of  entering  the 
fort,  moved  rapidly  forward  from  their  respective  points  towards  the 
gateway,  under  a  heavy  and  well-directed  fire  from  the  walls  of  the 
fort  and  citadel,  which  were  thronged  by  the  enemy. 

The  gate  having  been  closed  before  the  troops  moving  towards  it 
could  effect  the  desired  object,  and  the  garrison  strengthened  by  the 
enemy  driven  from  the  heights,  they  were  compelled  to  cover  them- 
selves, as  far  as  practicable,  behind  some  walls  and  ruined  buildings 
to  the  right  and  left  of  it,  while  Brigadier  Stevenson,  having  as- 
cended the  heights  with  the  artillery,  opened  two  guns,  under  the 
command  of  Lieutenant  Foster,  Bombay  Horse  Artillery,  upon  the 
defences  above  the  gate  and  its  vicinity,  while  the  fire  of  two  others, 
commanded  by  Lieutenant  Cowper,  Shah's  Artillery,  was  directed 
against  the  gate  itself;  the  remaining  two,  with  Lieutenant  Creed, 
being  sent  round  to  the  road  on  the  left  hand,  leading  directly  up  to 
the  gate,  and  when  within  two  hundred  yards,  commenced  fire,  for 
the  purpose  of  completing  in  blowing  it  open,  and  after  a  few 
rounds,  they  succeeded  in  knocking  in  one  half  of  it.  On  observing 
this,  I  rode  down  the  hill  towards  the  gate,  pointing  to  it,  thereby 
announcing  to  the  troops  it  was  open.  They  instantly  rose  from 
their  cover  and  rushed  in.  Those  under  the  command  of  Major 
Pennycuick,  being  the  nearest,  were  the  first  to  gain  the  gate, 
headed  by  that  officer,  the  whole  of  the  storming  columns  from  the 
three  regiments  rapidly  following  and  gaining  an  entrance,  as  quick 
as  it  was  possible  to  do  so,  under  a  heavy  fire  from  the  works  and 
from  the  interior,  the  enemy  making  a  most  gallant  and  determined 
resistance,  disputing  every  inch  of  ground  up  to  the  walls  of  the 
inner  citadel. 

At  this  time  I  directed  the  reserve  column  to  be  brought  near  the 
gate,  and  detached  one  company  of  the  17th  Regiment,  under  Cap- 
tain Darley,  to  the  western  side  of  the  fort,  followed  by  a  portion  of 
the  31st  Bengal  Native  Infantry,  commanded  by  Major  Western, 


conducted  by  Captain  Outram,  acting  as  my  extra  Aide-de-Camp, 
for  the  purpose  of  securing  the  heights,  under  which  the  southern 
angle  is  situated,  and  intercepting  any  of  the  garrison  escaping 
from  that  side ;  having  driven  off  the  enemy  from  the  heights  above, 
the  united  detachments  then  descended  to  the  gate  of  the  fort  below, 
and  forced  it  open  before  the  garrison  (who  closed  it  as  they  saw 
the  troops  approach)  had  time  to  secure  it. 

When  the  party  was  detached  by  the  western  face,  I  also  sent  two 
companies  from  the  reserve  of  the  17th,  under  Major  I)eshon,and 
two  guns  of  the  Shah's  artillery,  under  the  command  of  Lieutenant 
Creed,  Bombay  Artillery,  by  the  eastern  to  the  southern  face,  for 
the  purpose  of  blowing  open  the  gate  above  alluded  to,  had  it  been 
necessary,  as  well  as  the  gate  of  the  inner  citadel ;  the  infantry  join- 
ing the  other  detachments,  making  their  way  through  the  town  in 
the  direction  of  the  citadel. 

After  some  delay,  the  troops  that  held  possession  of  the  town  at 
length  succeeded  in  forcing  an  entrance  into  the  citadel,  where  a 
desperate  resistance  was  made  by  Mehrab  Khan,  at  the  head  of  his 
people  ;  he  himself,  with  many  of  his  principal  chiefs,  being  killed 
sword  in  hand.  Several  others,  however,  kept  up  a  fire  upon 
our  troops  from  detached  buildings  difficult  of  access,  and  it  was  not 
until  late  in  the  afternoon,  that  those  that  survived  were  induced  to 
give  themselves  up  on  a  promise  of  their  lives  being  spared. 

From  every  account,  I  have  reason  to  believe  the  garrison  con- 
sisted of  upwards  of  2000  fighting  men,  and  that  the  son  of  Mehrab 
Khan  had  been  expected  to  join  him  from  Nerosky,  with  a  further 
reinforcement ;  the  enclosed  return  will  shew  the  strength  of  the 
force  under  my  command  present  at  the  capture. 

The  defences  of  the  fort,  as  in  the  case  of  Ghuzni,  far  exceeded  in 
strength  what  I  had  been  led  to  suppose  from  previous  report,  and 
the  towering  height  of  the  inner  citadel  was  most  formidable,  both 
in  appearance  and  reality. 

I  lament  to  say  that  the  loss  of  killed  and  wounded  on  our  side 
has  been  severe,  as  will  be  seen  by  the  accompanying  return  ;  that 
on  the  part  of  the  enemy  must  have  been  great,  but  the  exact  num- 


ber  I  have  not  been  able  to  ascertain.  Several  hundreds  of  prisoners 
were  taken,  from  whom  the  political  agent  has  selected  those  he 
considers  it  necessary  for  the  present  to  retain  in  confinement ;  the 
remainder  have  been  liberated. 

It  is  quite  impossible  for  me  sufficiently  to  express  my  admiration 
of  the  gallant  and  steady  conduct  of  the  officers  and  men  upon  this 
occasion  ;  but  the  fact  of  less  than  an  hour  having  elapsed  from  the 
formation  of  the  columns  for  the  attack  to  the  period  of  the  troops 
being  within  the  fort,  and  this  performed  in  the  open  day,  and  in 
the  face  of  an  enemy  so  very  superior  in  numbers,  and  so  perfectly 
prepared  for  resistance,  will,  I  trust,  convince  your  Lordship  how 
deserving  the  officers  and  troops  are  of  my  warmest  thanks,  and  of 
the  highest  praise  that  can  be  bestowed. 

To  Brigadier  Baumgardt,  commanding  the  storming  column,  my 
best  thanks  are  due,  and  he  reports  that  Captain  Willie,  acting  As- 
sistant Adjutant-General,  and  Captain  Gilland,  his  aide-de-camp, 
ably  assisted  him,  and  zealously  performed  their  duties;  also  to 
Brigadier  Stevenson,  commanding  the  artillery,  and  Lieutenants 
Forster  and  Cowper,  respectively  in  charge  of  the  Bombay  and 
Shah's  artillery.  I  feel  greatly  indebted  for  the  steady  and  scien- 
tific manner  in  which  the  service  of  dislodging  the  enemy  from 
the  heights,  and  afterwards  effecting  an  entrance  into  the  fort,  was 
performed.  The  Brigadier  has  brought  to  my  notice  the  assistance 
he  received  from  Captain  Coghlan,  his  brigade-major.  Lieutenant 
Woosnara,  his  aide-de-camp,  and  Lieutenant  Creed,  when  in  battery 

To  Lieutenant-Colonel  Croker,  commanding  her  Majesty's  17th 
Regiment;  Major  Carruthers,  commanding  the  Queen's  Royals; 
Major  Western,  commanding  the  Bengal  31st  Native  Infantry,  I 
feel  highly  indebted  for  the  manner  in  which  they  conducted  their 
respective  columns  to  the  attack  of  the  heights,  and  afterwards  to 
the  assault  of  the  town,  as  well  as  to  Major  Pennycuick,  of  the 
17th,  who  led  the  advance-guard  companies  to  the  same  point. 

To  Captain  Peat,  chief  engineer,  and  to  the  officers  and  men  of 
the  Engineer  Corps,  my  acknowledgments  are  due;  to  Major  Neil 


Campbell,  Acting  Quartermaster-General  of  the  Bombay  army  ;  to 
Captain  Hagart,  Acting  Deputy  Adjutant-General ;  and  to  Lieutenant 
Ramsay,  acting  Assistant  Quartermaster-General,  my  best  thanks 
are  due  for  the  able  assistance  afforded  me  by  their  services. 

From  my  Aides-de-camp,  Captain  Robinson  and  Lieutenant 
Halket,  as  well  as  from  Captain  Outram,  who  volunteered  his  ser- 
vices on  my  personal  staff,  I  received  the  utmost  assistance;  and  to 
the  latter  officer  I  feel  greatly  indebted  for  the  zeal  and  ability  with 
which  he  has  performed  various  duties  that  I  have  required  of  him, 
upon  other  occasions,  as  well  as  the  present. 

It  is  with  much  pleasure  that  I  state  the  great  assistance  I  have 
received  from  Captain  Bean  in  obtaining  supplies. 

Major-Gen.,  Commanding  Bombay  Column, 
Army  of  the  Indus. 

Return  of  Casualties  in  the  army  under  the  command  of  Major' 
General  Willshire,  C.B.,  employed  at  the  storming  of  Kelat, 
on  the  I3th  of  November,  1839  : — 

1st  Troop  of  Cabool  Artillery — 2  rank  and  file,  6  horses, 

Gun  Lancers  attached  to  ditto — 1  rank  and  file,  1  horse, 
wounded  ;  1  corporal,  since  dead. 

Her  Majesty's  2nd,  or  Queen's  Royal  Regiment — 1  lieutenant, 
21  rank  and  file,  killed;  2  captains,  2  lieutenants,  1  adjutant, 
2  sergeants,  40  rank  and  file,  1  horse,  wounded. 

H^r  Majesty's  17th  Regiment — 6  rank  and  file,  killed;  1  cap- 
tain, 3  sergeants,  29  rank  and  file,  wounded. 

31st  Regiment  of  Bengal  Native  Infantry — 1  subadar,  2  rank 
and  file,  killed  ;  1  captain,  1  ensign,  2  jemadars,  2  sergeants,  1 
drummer,  14  rank  and  file,  1  bheestie,  wounded. 

Sappers  and  Miners  and  Pioneers — 1  sergeant  wounded. 

4th  Bengal  Local  Horse — 1  rank  and  file  wounded. 


Total — 1  lieutenant,  1  subadar,  29  rank  and  file,  killed  ;  4  cap- 
tains, 2  lieutenants,  1  ensign,  I  adjutant,  2  jemadars,  8  sergeants, 
1  drummer,  87  rank  and  file,  1  bheestie,  7  horses,  wounded. 

Total  killed  and  wounded — 138. 

Natnes  of  Officers  killed  and  wounded. 

Killed — Her  Majesty's  2nd  or  Queen's  Royal  Regiment — Lieu- 
tenant T.  Gravatt. 

Wounded— Her  Majesty's  2nd,  or  Queen's  Royal  Regiment — 
Captain  W.  M.  Lyster,  Captain  T.  Sealy,  Lieutenant  T.  W.  E. 
Holdsworth,  severely;  Lieutenant  D.  J,  Dickenson,  slightly;  Ad- 
jutant J.  E.  Simmons,  severely. 

Her  Majesty's  17th  Regiment — Captain  L.  C.  Bourchier, 
severely . 

3lst  Regiment  of  Bengal  Native  Infantry  ^  Captain    Saurin, 

slightly  ;  Ensign  Hopper,  severely. 

C.  Hagart,  Captain, 
Acting  Deputy  Adjutant-Gen.  Bombay- 
Column,  Army  of  the  Indus. 

State  of  the  Corps  engaged  at  the  storming  of  Kelat,  on  the  I3tk 

of  November,   1839,  under  the  command  of  Major- General 

Willshire,  C.B. 

Camp  at  Kelat,  November  13th,  1839. 

Staff— 1  major-general,  2  brigadiers,  5  aides-de-camp,  1  acting 
deputy-adjutant-general,  1  acting  quartermaster-general,  1  deputy 
assistant-quartermaster-general,  2  brigade-majors,  1  sub-assistant 

Detachment  3rd  Troop  Horse  Artillery — 2  lieutenants,  2  ser- 
geants, 36  rank  and  file. 

1st  Troop  Cabool  Artillery — 1  lieutenant,  8  sergeants,  1  drum- 
mer, 1  ftirrier,  58  rank  and  file. 

H^r  Majesty's  2nd,  or  Queen's  Royal  Regiment — 1  major,  3 
captains,  7  lieutenants,  1  ensign,  1  adjutant,  31  Serjeants,  10 
drummers,  290  rank  and  file. 


Her  Majesty's  17th  Regiment — 1  lieutenant-colonel,  2  majors, 
4  captains,  13  lieutenants,  2  ensigns,  1  quartermaster,  1  surgeon, 
29  sergeants,  9  drummers,  338  rank  and  file. 

31st  Regiment  Bengal  Native  Infantry — 1  major,  2  captains, 
3  lieutenants,  2  ensigns,  1  adjutant,  1  quartermaster,  1  surgeon, 
12  native  officers,  30  sergeants,  14  drummers,  329  rank  and  file. 

Sappers  and  Miners  and  Pioneers — 1  captain,  1  lieutenant,  1 
assistant  surgeon,  3  native  officers,  J  sub-conductor,  7  sergeants, 
3  drummers,  117  rank  and  file. 

Total — 1  major-general,  2  brigadiers,  5  aides-de-camp,  1  acting 
deputy  adjutant-general,  1  acting  quartermaster-general,  1  deputy 
assistant-quartermaster-general,  2  brigade-majors,  1  sub-assistant- 
commissary-general,  1  lieutenant-colonel,  4  majors,  10  captains,  27 
lieutenants,  5  ensigns,  2  adjutants,  2  quartermasters,  2  surgeons, 
1  assistant-surgeon,  15  native  officers,  1  sub-conductor,  107  ser- 
geants, 37  drummers,  1  farrier,  1,166  rank  and  file. 

The  Sappers  and  Miners  and  Pioneers  were  not  engaged  until  the 

gate  was  taken. 

C.  Hag  ART,  Captain, 
Acting  Deputy  Adjutant-Gen.,  Bombay 
Column,  Army  of  the  Indus. 

Note — Two  russalas  of  the  Bengal  Local  Horse  remained  in 
charge  of  the  baggage  during  the  attack. 

List  of  Beloochee  Sirdars  killed  in  the  assault  of  Kelat,  on  the 

IZthof  Novetnber,  1839  : — 
Meer  Mehrab  Khan,  Chief  of  Kelat. 
Meer  Wullee  Mahomed,  the  Muengul  Sirdar  of  Wudd. 
Abdool  Kurreem,  Ruhsanee  Sirdar. 
Dad  Kurreen,  Shahwanee  Sirdar. 

Mahomed  Ruzza,  nephew  of  the  Vizier  Mahomed  Hoosein. 
Khysur  Khan,  Ahsehrie  Sirdar. 
Dewan  Bucha  Mull,  Financial  Minister. 
Noor  Mahomed  and  Taj  Mahomed,  Shagassa  Sirdars. 



Mahomed  Hoossein,  Vizier. 

Moola  Ruheem  Dad,  ex-Naib  of  Shawl ;  with  several  others  of 

inferior  rank. 

J.  D.  D.  Dean,  Political  Agent. 


Political  Department,  Fort  William,  Dec.  14,  1839. 

The  Hon.  the  President  in  Council  has  much  satisfaction  in  pub- 
lishing the  following  despatch  from  Major-General  Willshire,  C.B., 
with  the  returns  annexed  to  it,  reporting  the  capture  of  the  fort  and 
citadel  of  Kelat,  by  storm,  on  the  13th  of  November,  which  brilliant 
achievement  was  effected  by  a  force  consisting  of  only  1200  men, 
with  the  loss,  his  Honour  in  Council  grieves  to  say,  of  138  killed 
and  wounded,  including  amongst  the  former  one  officer.  Lieutenant 
Gravatt,  of  her  Majesty's  2nd,  or  Queen's  Regiment,  and  amongst 
the  latter,  eight  officers. 

Meer  Mehrab  Khan  himself,  and  eight  other  sirdars,  w^ere 
amongst  the  slain  of  the  enemy. 

The  general  order  issued  by  the  Right  Hon.  the  Governor-General, 
on  the  receipt  of  this  intelligence,  is  republished,  and  his  Honour  in 
Council  unites  with  his  Lordship  in  recording  his  high  admiration 
of  the  signal  gallantry  and  spirit  of  the  troops  engaged,  and  in 
offering  his  thanks  to  Major-General  Willshire,  and  to  the  officers 
and  men  who  served  under  him  on  this  occasion. 

A  royal  salute  will  be  fired  from  the  ramparts  of  Fort  William, 
at  noon  this  day,  in  honour  of  the  event. 

By  order  of  the  Hon.  the  President  in  Council, 

H.  T.  Prinsep, 
Secretary  to  the  Government  of  India. 



107,  St.  Martin's  Lane,  Charing  Cross. 

Deacidified  using  the  Bookkeeper  proce 
Neutralizing  agent:  Magnesium  Oxide 
Treatment  Date:  Jan.  2003 



1 1 1  Thomson  Park  Drive 
Cranberry  Township,  PA  16066